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CLIMATE

France beats all-time temperature record as another scorching summer is forecast

The first half of 2020 was the hottest ever recorded in France, with temperatures 1.8C up on the average.

France beats all-time temperature record as another scorching summer is forecast
Photo: AFP

While temperatures in June are average, the total first six months of the year are the warmest on record, with an average temperature of 12.5C for January to June 2020, French weather forecaster Météo France has revealed.

January, February and April saw particularly high monthly temperatures, with February 3.6C higher than the average.

The biggest increases in average temperatures were found in the wide central belt of France, with Orly and Brive  2.4C warmer than normal over the first six months. Lyon, Chartres and Tours recorded an average 2.3C warmer than normal.

Weather forecasters have already predicted that this summer will be long, hot and dry – with drought warnings already in place for many areas – although it may not top the temperatures seen last year when France recorded its highest ever temperature – 46C.

During the July 2019 heatwave temperature records tumbled across France, with Paris reaching 42.6C.

The winter of 2019/20 has already been recorded as one of the warmest on record, with many areas seeing no snow or ice and temperatures of 27C recorded in southern France.

Météo France predicts that July and August will also be hotter than average.

“This has been a very regular phenomenon in recent years, a sign of global warming,” said Michèle Blanchard, climatologist at Météo France.

There is also forecast to be a long dry spell with predictions that 58 French départements, roughly half the country, will be officially in drought conditions.

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ENVIRONMENT

Massive hornet-trapping campaign begins in south west France

Across south west France trapping campaigns have begun in an attempt to control the numbers of dangerous Asian hornets.

Massive hornet-trapping campaign begins in south west France

Trapping campaigns are organised annually at this time of year, as the weather begins to get warmer and queens begin to emerge from hibernation.

And the Charente-Maritime town of Royan Atlantique, on France’s west coast, is leading the way, as the below video shows.

Experts say that now is the time to begin using the traps, as catching queen hornets in the process of building their nests will lead to far fewer insects later in the year. 

Some 2,000 traps are installed in and around Royan this year, including 300 that were distributed to householders in the week of Valentine’s Day. 

Once installed, the traps can capture several dozen insects at a time.

In order to capture a maximum of hornet queens, traps should be installed between mid-February and mid-May. Especially since during this period, these predators end up coming out of their hibernation.

It is believed Asian hornets arrived in France around 2004. They have now spread nationwide.

Although their venom is not more powerful than that of normal bees or wasps, they are known to be more aggressive towards humans, and their stings can cause anaphylactic shock in allergic people.

The hornets also damage beehives and kill bees, damaging honey stocks and destroying the native ecosystem.

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