European Commission reports: “Europe’s worst drought in 500 years” Instagram news VTM

The drought in Europe “appears to be the worst in at least 500 years”. This was revealed in a study conducted by the European Commission on Tuesday. Nearly half of Europe is threatened by drought, according to a report by the commission’s Joint Research Center (JRC). “This is of course only a preliminary assessment and has not yet been confirmed by the final data at the end of the season,” said commission spokesman Johannes Bahrek.

According to the report, on August 10, 47 percent of Europe’s land had a drought warning level. The alert phase has been reached in 17 percent of the districts surveyed. Less precipitation and some heat waves from May onwards had an effect on river drainage and water levels across Europe. This has also negatively affected the power sector, both for hydroelectric generation and for cooling systems for other power plants.

Increased risk of dehydration

The drought also significantly reduced summer crop yields, with corn, soybeans and sunflowers hardest hit, the researchers said. “Groundwater and vegetation have been severely affected,” the report said, citing a number of countries where drought risks have increased. These include Germany, France and Great Britain. “In the rest of Europe, which has already experienced drought, conditions remain stable and severely dry,” the report said.

Dry lake in Velence, Hungary. © AP

According to the report, conditions are deteriorating further in areas already hit by drought in the spring of 2022 – for example, northern Italy, southeastern France and some areas in Hungary and Romania. The researchers also expect it to be warmer and drier than usual in the Euro-Mediterranean region through November.

The effect of rainfall is limited recently

“Recent rains (from mid-August) may have eased the drought in some parts of Europe,” the experts said. “However, in some areas accompanying thunderstorms have caused damage and losses and may have limited the beneficial effects of precipitation,” the researchers added.

The Rhine River in Germany is dry in many places.

The Rhine River in Germany is dry in many places. © AFP

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