Guardian: What is causing the European heatwave?

A brief look at the causes and effects of high temperatures across the continent.

Is this a record-breaking heatwave?

Temperature records for this time of year have already been broken, or look likely to be broken imminently, across much of Europe including Germany, France, Spain, Switzerland and Austria. The weather in June is usually slightly cooler in Europe, building up to highs later in the summer. However, there was also a June heatwave last year, with prolonged high temperatures across much of the northern hemisphere, accompanied by a drought in many areas.

Will it carry on for long?

In the UK, temperatures have reached the high 20s in Scotland, Wales and south-west England, and may top 30C in some parts, according to the Met Office. On Saturday, temperatures will rise further in parts of central and eastern England, with 30C to 34C possible. But a cold front will reach the country on Sunday, lowering temperatures again.

Why is it so hot?

Warm air is rising across Europe from north Africa, bringing high temperatures right across the continent. The UK has remained cooler, partly as a result of being further from the source of the warm air and partly because of the cooling effects of the North Sea, Met Office experts said.

Is this heatwave a result of climate breakdown?

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