In Brief

What’s behind the world’s record heat wave?

Northern Hemisphere continues to be battered by extreme temperatures, sparking deadly wildfires

Forecasters have issued a warning that parts of the UK will face temperatures of “at least 35C” by Thursday, as the intense heatwave gripping the northern hemisphere continues.

Temperature records have been smashed, with deadly heatwaves and wildfires claiming dozens of lives.

On Monday the Japanese city of Kumagaya hit 41.1C - the highest temperature since Japanese records began - after weeks of extreme heat across the country killed at least 44 people, CNN says.

In Dallas, Texas, temperatures have hit record highs of 42 and 43C for four consecutive days.

But Greece has seen the worst effects of the heat, with devastating wildfires around the capital killing at least 50 people and injuring hundreds more. Parts of the country are a “tinderbox”, says The Guardian, after an unusually dry winter and summer.

On Monday, parts of the UK reached 33.3C - the highest of the year so far - with temperatures overnight staying above 24C in some areas.

Weeks of high temperatures – predicted to exceed 30C every day this week in parts of the south – have “turned fields brown, ripened wild berries months earlier than normal and triggered an amber-level heat health warning, with people urged to stay out of the sun”, The Independent reports.

The Met Office alert will remain in place until at least Friday evening.

The Met Office said the temperature could exceed 35C on Thursday.

The UK has had the “driest first half of the summer since 1961”, a spokesman said. “For the UK as a whole, we've only seen about 20% of the rainfall we'd normally expect throughout the whole summer. Parts of southern England have seen only six per cent.”

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