Brutal heat has killed more than 1,700 people over the past week in Spain and Portugal alone, but the ultimate death toll of this week’s extreme heat, there and across Europe, will be much higher. The UK hit 104.36°F (40.2°C) at Heathrow on Tuesday, “absolutely obliterat[ing]” the previous all-time record, set just three years ago, by 2.7°F (1.5°C). “Even as a climate scientist who studies this stuff, this is scary,” University of Reading professor Hannah Cloke told The Guardian. While the hottest peak of the heat wave may have passed yesterday, the WMO expects temperatures to stay above normal through the middle of next week. (Death toll: Axios, Reuters, Democracy Now; UK Heat: (The Guardian, Axios, Washington Post $, New York Times $, Reuters, The Guardian, Wall Street Journal $, CBS, Axios, Washington Post $, AP, The Verge, The Guardian, ABC, Politico EU; Forecast: Reuters)

Hot nights and wildfires

The stifling daytime heat is only part of the danger. Extremely hot nights are especially dangerous because they prevent the body from a needed chance to cool down and hamper sleep which is linked to a raft of its own health concerns. They also further supercharge the wildfires burning across the continent and hinder firefighters’ efforts to contain them. (Reuters, E&E News, AP)

Air pollution spikes

As temperatures across Europe have skyrocketed, so has air pollution. Surface level ozone hit unhealthy levels across southern and western Europe on Tuesday and will likely worsen further north in the coming days. In addition, the wildfires burning across the continent are releasing huge amounts of particulate matter (PM2.5), especially dangerous when combined with extreme heat. “Smoke particles are one of the most toxic forms of particles we can generate,” Athanasios Nenes, an atmospheric chemist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, told Reuters. As if that weren’t enough, wildfires in Spain and Morocco have produced more carbon emissions in the last month than any similar period since data began being collected nearly two decades ago. (Ozone: Reuters, Politico EU; Wildfires: (Reuters, Axios, CBS, Gizmodo; Carbon: Reuters)