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1990: UK temperatures reach record high

VIDEO : Temperature rise leads to droughts

A weather station in Leicestershire has recorded the highest temperature ever known in Britain.

The figure of 37.1C, or 99F, recorded at a weather station in Nailstone, Leicestershire, is 1 degree Fahrenheit higher than the previous record set in 1911.

The new record has not been officially confirmed, weather experts have said it appears authentic.

Although the sweltering temperatures are being enjoyed by holidaymakers and sun seekers, they are not good news for everyone.

Fire crews are battling countryside fires in North Yorkshire and more than 100 square miles (259 square kilometres) of the Peak District National Park will be closed from midnight on Sunday to protect the moorland from careless visitors.

Roads clogged

Penguins at Bristol zoo and a herd of rare pigs from Ludlow in Shropshire, are receiving daily cold showers of water to prevent them from dehydrating.

Many roads around the country are clogged as motorists make their way to coastal resorts and some intercity trains will be running at reduced speeds because of possible distortion of the rails in the intense heat.

Reservoir levels are also falling but officials are confident that supplies are not yet at risk.

Mr Mike Carey, from the Water Services Association, said: "Most people are still getting their full supply of water without any restrictions at all.

"In fact, 46 million people have no restrictions of any sort at the moment."

In Context
The record was broken on 10 August 2003 - first when 37.9C (100.2F) was recorded at Heathrow Airport, then later by a temperature of 38.1C (100.6F) in Gravesend, Kent.

Weather experts predict that over the next 80 years temperatures could reach 40C.

Research is continually being carried out to try to establish why average global temperatures have risen significantly over the past century.

Reports suggest it is a combination of human activity, solar activity and warmer oceans.

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