European Commission Report Says Continent Facing Worst Drought in 500 Years

The Global Drought Observatory, the research wing of the EC, warned that harvests are going to be badly affected.

Climate Change
2 min read
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Edited By :Padmashree Pande

In a stark warning regarding the effects of climate change, the latest report from the Global Drought Observatory says 47 percent of Europe is in "warning" conditions.

The drought in Europe is being referred to as the worst in 500 years, that is, there has never been a European summer been so dry since the year 1540. The drought observatory, which is a part of the European Commission's research wing, has warned that data suggests that "the current drought still appears to be the worst since at least 500 years".

While 47 percent is on "warning", another 17 percent is on "alert," that is, vegetation is showing "signs of stress".

The dry spell is expected to hit harvests hard. For instance, compared to the average of the last five years, the forecasts for harvest in European Union countries are down 16 percent for grain maize, 15 percent for soybeans and 12 percent for sunflowers.

According to the report, the countries that are under the radar are Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Romania, Hungary, northern Serbia, Ukraine, Moldova, Ireland and the UK.

But it's not just Europe. China is grappling with its worst heatwave in over 60 years. Temperatures have crossed 40 degree Celsius in over a dozen cites in the country, creating drought-like conditions in several parts.

Eight provinces currently have warnings in place for temperatures above 44 degree Celsius. Chongqing, a self-administered province near Sichuan, reached a record 44.4 degrees Celsius over the weekend.

In an effort to induce artificial rainfall to help with the drought-like conditions, the government has resorted to cloud seeding by sending airplanes to fire the chemical silver iodide into the clouds to make it rain.

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Topics:  Europe   Drought 

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