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Explainer: Why Europe is melting under extreme heat, and why Ireland is escaping the worst of it

Scientists’ modelling is proving correct as high pressure sends mercury soaring, writes Caroline O’Doherty

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A worker runs away when a forest fire that has hit the lumber factory where he works on July 13, 2022 in Albergaria a Velha, Portugal. Wildfires have swept across the central part of the country amid temperatures exceeding 40 degrees celsius (Photo: Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

A worker runs away when a forest fire that has hit the lumber factory where he works on July 13, 2022 in Albergaria a Velha, Portugal. Wildfires have swept across the central part of the country amid temperatures exceeding 40 degrees celsius (Photo: Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

People cool off by a fountain at the Plaza de Espana during the second heatwave of the year, in Seville, Spain. Photo: Jon Nazca

People cool off by a fountain at the Plaza de Espana during the second heatwave of the year, in Seville, Spain. Photo: Jon Nazca

A queue for ice-cream outside the Houses of Parliament, in Westminster, London. The city could see temperatures climb to 40C next Monday. Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

A queue for ice-cream outside the Houses of Parliament, in Westminster, London. The city could see temperatures climb to 40C next Monday. Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

People visit the Rhone Glacier covered in blankets to protect it from the sun in Switzerland. Photo: Urs Flueeler/Keystone via AP)

People visit the Rhone Glacier covered in blankets to protect it from the sun in Switzerland. Photo: Urs Flueeler/Keystone via AP)

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A worker runs away when a forest fire that has hit the lumber factory where he works on July 13, 2022 in Albergaria a Velha, Portugal. Wildfires have swept across the central part of the country amid temperatures exceeding 40 degrees celsius (Photo: Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

To escape the heatwave in Portugal, residents and visitors had few options, and one involved scaling the peak of the Portuguese equivalent of Carrauntoohil.

The Foia mountain is, at 900 metres, just a little below Ireland’s highest peak. It is also one of only three areas in Portugal that avoided temperatures of more than 30C in recent days.


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