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Europe is sweltering under record-breaking temperatures this week as a heatwave, caused by a giant bubble of warm air from the Sahara, wreaks havoc across the continent. Temperatures have reached as high as 43 degrees Celsius (110F) in France, leading to deaths and catastrophic crop failures.

For those of you from hotter climates, at the ready with your "meh, that's just a normal day here" comments, remember, Europe is not used to these kinds of extreme weather conditions! Houses are insulated against the winter cold, and air conditioning is rare. It hit almost 40C in Poland for goodness sake. Poland. This is not a country you would usually associate with such summer heat!

Europeans are dealing with the hot summer temperatures in a variety of ways, from the typical deadpan humor to more practical solutions. Scroll down to check out the reactions for yourself, and if you're in Europe right now, keep yourself and your animals cool and safe!

Statistics show that heat waves like this are becoming more frequent due to climate change, and are something that Europeans are likely going to have to get used to. “Monthly heat records all over the globe occur five times as often today as they would in a stable climate.” Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research told AP.

"This increase in heat extremes is just as predicted by climate science as a consequence of global warming caused by the increasing greenhouse gases from burning coal, oil and gas.”



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Best Finnish Potatoe
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5 years ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I live in France. I'm dying from the heat. If you wonder why is there a 😱 face, it's our face currently due to the climate. Edit: Thanks for the upvotes, I never got so much! 😄

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The controlling force of the weather is the Jet Stream, a fast-flowing wind-river that loops around the northern hemisphere at a height of 10 kilometres. The Jet Stream's behavior is linked to Arctic ice cover, which has decreased in recent years.

"The forecast from climate change models and the actuality of the last few years has shown a change to this Jet Stream," Al Jazeera's Rob McElwee said.

"It now has much greater loops, draped over North America and Eurasia, whereas a tighter, straighter flow used to be the norm. A looped Jet Stream induces long-lasting, low-pressure circulations and high-pressure domes," he added. 

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Such a set-up has drawn air up from North Africa, in a southerly breeze, to cover Western Europe. Over the coming days the hot weather will be increasingly confined to France, Italy and Spain as a cooler breeze flows across northern and central Europe.

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Dim Coumou, a scientist at the Free University of Amsterdam, also said that melting Arctic sea ice is affecting atmospheric circulation, which in turn makes extreme weather more likely.

“Data analysis shows that the normally eastward travelling summer circulation of the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes has slowed down, including the Jet Stream,” he said. “This favors the buildup of hot and dry conditions over the continent, sometimes turning a few sunny days into dangerous heat waves.”

Heatwaves can become really dangerous when they take place in early summer. Europe's 2003 heatwave resulted in the deaths of an estimated 70,000 people, let's hope that this year people are better prepared for the incoming inferno.

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Dynein
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5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

But your flora and fauna is probably better equipped to deal with it... :(

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N G
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5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yeah, European roads are made from Tarmac, and it gets sticky and melts if the weather is too hot

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Olivier van Remoortel
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5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Our cats saw this and liked your suggestion for a bird trap. They're trying to push their water bowl to the balcony now :-)

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Vicky Zar
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5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Poles? Is that the correct word? Never thought about it. Sounds ... strange

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Foxxy
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5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

As an Australian most of this advice is good BUT you should reapply sunscreen every 2 hours on scorching days. Always better to be safe than sorry. This is the best motto Slip, slop, slap, seek and slide. Slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen, slap on a hat, seek shade and slide on sunnies. It’s a simple as that.

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Tessa
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5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

In Berlin and around are so many awesome lakes. Why go to over crowded swimming pool?

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#23

30 Reactions Europeans Had To The Record-Breaking Heatwave

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Magpie
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5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The feet in bucket thing is really helpful. Just keep checking and change the water when it gets too hot.

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Mewton’s Third Paw
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5 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Well then moving forward the stores need to change their setup or this is just going to get worse every year and her worry will be justified. They should expand that section.

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