Temperatures rise in Europe as another heat wave blankets region

TEMPERATURES in Europe are climbing again as another heat wave sweeps the continent, threatening to disrupt travel and business and ratcheting up pressure on the region’s strained power infrastructure.

The mercury in Paris will likely reach 33 degrees Celsius (91 Fahrenheit) on Wednesday and rise further in the following days, according to forecaster Maxar Technologies LLC. Frankfurt and London will also see temperatures in the 30s, boosting demand for cooling and exacerbating bone-dry conditions that have prompted limits on water use.

Europe’s increasingly frequent heat waves are a stark reminder of the unfolding climate crisis, with temperature extremes set to become more common as the world continues to burn fossil fuels. France last month recorded its driest July on record, and England registered the driest in almost 90 years.

With the arid summer setting heat records across Europe, the continent’s rivers are also suffering. Water levels on the Rhine, a vital artery for the transport of commodities and industrial goods, are so low that the river is set to become virtually impassable at a key waypoint in Germany.

In the UK, Londoners have been told to prepare for a hosepipe ban, as have residents of Kent and Sussex. Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are already subject to restrictions, which include the use of hosepipes for watering gardens, cleaning cars and filling swimming pools.

The UK Met Office warned of extreme heat in London and southeast England until Aug. 14, while the country’s Health Security Agency also extended a heat-health alert for all regions until Sunday. France’s state forecaster has a similar “extreme heat” amber warning out for parts of the south.

Although temperatures this time around aren’t likely to reach the record-breaking levels set in July, the heat wave comes amid a continuing energy-supply crunch as Russia tightens its grip on gas flows to the region. Power prices in Germany and France have surged to all-time highs in recent days. –BLOOMBERG