Summer heat is the newest trend

Usually known for its temperate weather, Danes and tourists alike are seeking shade from the this year's summer heat

The sweater and umbrella recommended by guide books could have been left at homet his year. Both tourists and Danes have been baking in the hot, dry weather this summer, wondering what became of the Danish summer of years gone by.

With daytime temperatures well over 25°C every day in the previous week and a predicted high of 33°C on Thursday, there is much talk of whether it is just a steadfast high pressure system or the beginning of a noticeable climate change.

'It's too early to say if we will continue to have these types of summers that go along with global warming,' said Stig Rosenørn, meteorologist with Denmark's Meteorological Institute (DMI) 'The warm weather here at home has lasted just over four weeks' time, and it has done that several times over the course of the last 100 years.'

Rosenørn said the average temperature in Denmark, as in the rest of the world, has risen due to CO2 and other greenhouse gasses. He also said that emissions from cars, planes and electricity production have caused the atmosphere to retain more of the sun's heat than before.

In Denmark, the temperature shift is most noticeable in the winter. In comparison to the 1970s and 80s, winter temperatures have risen one-and-a-half degrees. Summer temperatures have risen between one half to a whole degree, but the difference is still evident. Over the last 100 years, 25 percent of the summers have been warmer than normal, which is 14.5 to 15.8°C.

DMI's rule of thumb has said that in every decade Denmark experiences three-to-four poor summers and one and a half exceptional summers where the daytime temperatures average 25°C.

'With the increased greenhouse effect we will see more of these types of summers where it is very dry, and when it does rain, it's more extreme than previous years,' said Annemette Jørgensen, a research head at DMI's climate department.

Meteorologists expect extreme rain over the weekend and slightly cooler temperatures afterward, hovering between 20 and 25°C. Denmark's record high of 36.4°C, measured on 10 August 1975, is not in danger of being topped this weekend, but breaking that record is not being ruled out for the rest of the summer.

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