Photo Credit: AP Photo/Frank Augstein
The impacts of the climate crisis are wreaking havoc in European nations. According to the European Drought Observatory, extreme drought warnings or signals have now been issued across more than 60% of Europe and the United Kingdom’s land area. Compared to Alaska and Texas put together, this area is larger.
The data were collected in 10 days near the end of July. According to the report, 45% of the area has been designated as a warning zone. This means that the soil in the area lacks the necessary moisture to support healthy crop growth and the stability of surrounding vegetation. Meanwhile, 15% are on “alert,” which means that vegetation and crops are significantly affected.
Copernicus, the European Union’s climate monitoring agency, published the same report, stating that the majority of Europe is experiencing a “drier-than-average” July. According to the report, temperatures in July broke previous records, and there was a higher incidence of dry spells and drought in many towns covered in Southwestern and Southeastern Europe.
The agency also stated that because of the dryness of the climate, wildfires began to spread, destroying animal habitats and vegetation along their path. Frequent heat waves also exacerbate the condition. These occurrences may indicate that Europe is on track for one of the hottest summers in recorded history.
Problems mounting over another
While the country is being ravaged by extreme heat, supply chain disruptions persist. Russia and Ukraine are still at odds, resulting in blockades of shipments carrying essential supplies such as wheat, oil, and gas. According to experts, this configuration could last until the end of 2022.
According to the Joint Research Centre, the harvesting of several crops and goods in Europe will be whittled down. According to all current information, a fall of 8 to 9 percent in grain, maize, soybeans, and sunflower yields is possible.
Copernicus Senior scientist Freja Vamborg said, “dry conditions from previous months combined with high temperatures and low precipitation rates seen in many areas during July may have adverse effects on agricultural production and other industries such as river transport and energy production.”
Water shortage affected by dry spells
As the heat continues, the water reservoir has reached new lows. According to Copernicus, the lack of rain in July exacerbates the problem. Due to a lack of supply, the government will be unable to meet consumer demand.
Since 1836, the southern part of England has never had a dry spell like the ones they are currently experiencing now. July was the driest month on record for the region. July in the United Kingdom is the driest in 20 years. Furthermore, the UK experienced an average of 46.3 mm of rainfall from January to July, with the exception of February, when rainfall was abundant.
Meanwhile, France recorded just 9.7 mm of precipitation, the lowest since 1959. This figure is also 85% lower than the average precipitation rate for the years from 1991 to 2020.
Italy has been going through the same thing, with lower precipitation levels since December 2021. Because of the phenomenon, the northern part of Italy, including the Po River, has entirely dried up.
July is also the warmest month on record worldwide. It was 0.4 degrees Celsius higher than the global temperature average from 1991 to 2020.
Spain, the UK, and France were among the locations that had temperatures in the 40°C range. Several areas in the UK also experienced temperatures that fluctuated around that mark. The UK had a temperature increase on July 19 that exceeded the 40-degree threshold. Particularly, the village of Coningsby recorded a heat that reached 40.3 C.
“July 2022 has been extremely hot in Spain, the warmest since at least 1961, with an average temperature of 25.6 ºC [78.1 Fahrenheit], which is 2.7 ºC [4.9 Fahrenheit] higher than the normal average,” the country’s national weather agency AEMET said in a post on Twitter. July was “0.2 ºC [0.4 Fahrenheit] higher than that of July 2015, which until now was the warmest month of July,” Copernicus reported.