The UK has recorded record temperatures above 40C for the first time, heightening concern over the impact of global climate change.
Thermometers hit 40.3C at Coningsby in Lincolnshire while dozens of other locations exceeded the UK’s previous highest recorded temperature of 38.7C.
Fire services declared major incidents after a spate of blazes. Some rail services were cancelled after tracks overheated or buckled and overhead cables failed.
The Met Office chief of science and technology Prof Stephen Belcher said exceeding 40C in the UK was “virtually impossible” in an undisrupted climate. However global warming due to greenhouse gas emissions meant extreme temperatures had become common.
The world has already warmed by about 1.1C since the start of the industrial era and climate scientists say that temperatures will keep rising unless governments around the world make steep cuts to emissions.
Sophie Raworth presents BBC News at Ten reporting by Justin Rowlatt and Daniel Sandford.
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