This heat wave is the second in barely a month in Europe. The multiplication of these phenomena is a direct consequence of global warming according to scientists, with greenhouse gas emissions increasing in intensity, duration and frequency.

For the first time, the British Health Security Agency has issued a level 4 alert, the highest level, corresponding to a national emergency, warning of the risks that the heat poses even to young people and / or in healthy.

“Hotter than the Sahara”, headlines the tabloid The Sun on Monday.

The British forecaster’s “extreme heat” red alert corresponds to “a risk to life”.

The hottest temperatures are expected for Tuesday and could exceed the 40°C threshold, a first in the country. The British record dates back to July 25, 2019, with 38.7 degrees recorded in Cambridge, in the east of England.

Schools in some counties will remain closed, while major transportation disruptions are expected.

Several railway companies have called on the population not to travel on Monday and Tuesday, the British rail network not being designed for such heat.

The British government was accused on Sunday of neglecting the situation, after resigning Prime Minister Boris Johnson missed a crisis meeting on the subject in Downing Street.

– “Torrid night” in France –

In France, Monday could be one of the hottest ever recorded: maximum temperatures will be above 30°C everywhere, and between 38°C and 40°C in much of the country.

The Météo France institute expects to see many temperature records broken, especially in the West and South-West. “In some areas of the Southwest, it will be an apocalypse of heat” which could reach 44°C in places on Monday, followed by a “scorching night”.

The peak of this 45th heat wave recorded in France since 1947 is expected on the Atlantic coast, especially in Brittany (west) so far protected by ocean entrances.

Spain has been in the grip of a suffocating heat wave for more than a week which has caused numerous fires that have ravaged tens of thousands of hectares across the country.

On Monday, almost all of Spain remained on “extreme risk” fire alert, the highest level. The country, which has been suffocating since July 10 with highs well above 40 degrees and falling little at night, should experience a very short respite at the start of the week.

“Climate change kills people (…) but also our ecosystem, our biodiversity”, reacted the president of the government Pedro Sanchez on Monday.

– Devastating fires –

After beating its temperature record for the month of July on Thursday, with 47°C recorded in the north of the country, Portugal should for its part experience a much cooler day on Monday, putting an end to a heat wave episode of more than one week.

In France, Portugal, Spain and Greece, thousands of hectares of forests have been burned, and many inhabitants and tourists have had to flee their homes.

The situation is critical in the south-west of France. Sunday evening, the blaze which devoured 13,000 hectares of vegetation in the Bordeaux region in six days regained ground thanks to swirling winds, leading to new evacuations.

In central and northern Portugal, some 800 firefighters were still fighting four fires on Monday morning.

In Spain, raging fires have caused the death of a shepherd in the northwest of the country, local authorities announced on Monday, a second death after that of a firefighter on Sunday in the same area.

In the Netherlands, the Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) announced on Sunday a “National Heat Plan” and a pollution alert in force from Monday across the country, providing for an increase temperatures in the next few days, up to 35 degrees on Monday in the south and up to 38°C in some places on Tuesday.