Temperatures have reportedly topped 48.8 degrees Celsius in Sicily beating a record set in the 1970s by Athens, Greece, with a temperature of 48 degrees Celsius.
The reading from Sicily must now by verified by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).
The Lucifer anticyclone is causing hot air from Africa to sweep across southern Europe sky rocketing temperatures, including in Spain.
The WMO warns that the world faces “unprecedented and accelerating climate change”.
Devastating wildfires have swept across the island, destroying land and threatening homes.
“The harsh reality of climate change is playing out in real time before our very eyes,” said WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas.
“It is a foretaste of what faces future generations. Some of the negative changes are already locked into the climate system but others still can be addressed if we make strong, rapid and sustained reductions in emissions now. However, greenhouse gas concentrations, especially carbon dioxide, remain at record levels,” he added.
Sicily’s temperature comes in the same week as the UN published a landmark new report by hundreds of the world’s top climate scientists. The report is “a clarion call for immediate action to slash greenhouse gases in the face of unprecedented and accelerating climate change,” the WMO said.
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