Photo Credit: AP Photo/Frank Augstein
European countries are reeling from the effects of the climate crisis. Over sixty percent of land mass of the European Union and the United Kingdom has now declared extreme drought warnings or signals, the European Drought Observatory reports. This domain is larger than the combined area of Texas and Alaska.
The data was gathered within 10 days during the near end of July. According to the report, 45% of the area are places that have been placed under warnings. This means that the soil in the area lack the proper moisture to grow healthy crops and maintain stability of surrounding vegetation. Meanwhile 15% are under the “alert” status, which means that the vegetation and crops are severely impacted.
Copernicus, the climate monitoring agency of the European Union, published the same report which said that the greater part of Europe is experiencing a “drier-than-average” July. The report also revealed that the temperatures recorded in July broke previous records as well as recording high frequency of dry spells and drought in many areas covered in Southwestern and Southeastern Europe.
The agency also said that due to the dryness of the climate, wildfire began proliferating damaging animal habitat and vegetation along its path. The frequent heat wave is also exacerbating the condition. These phenomena might mean that Europe is heading towards one of the hottest summers in history.
While the country is ravaged by intense heat, the supply chain disruptions continue. Russia and Ukraine is still violent against each other, leading to blockades of shipments carrying necessary supplies like wheat, oil, and gas. Experts say that this setup might continue until the latter part of 2022.
The Joint Research Centre said that there would be drop in the harvest of several crops and goods in Europe. According to all available data, the drop of 8 to 9 percent is possible for goods including grain maize, soybeans, and sunflower.
Freja Vamborg, a senior scientist working for Copernicus, 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.”
Hotter weather, little rain
Water reservoir hit records-low as the heat continues. July saw little to no rain which worsens the problem, said Copernicus. Low supply means the government will not be able to keep up with the demand from consumers.
The southern part of England has never recorded its driest since 1836. July marked the driest for the region. In the United Kingdom, July is the driest in 20 years. Furthermore, UK only saw an average of 46.3 mm of rainfall in months covering January to July – except February when rainfall was abundant.
Meanwhile, France only recorded 9.7mm of rainfall, the lowest on record since 1959. The figure is also 85% away from the average precipitation rate from 1991-2020.
Italy is also experiencing the same, with lower precipitation levels since December 2021. The northern part of Italy, including the Po River has completely dried due to the phenomenon.
July is also the warmest month recorded globally. It hit 0.4 degree Celsius more than the global temperature average since 1991-2020.
Several areas in the UK recorded temperatures floating around 40 degrees Celsius, Spain, the United Kingdom, and France were among the regions which recorded 40 degrees Celsius of temperatures. Last July 19, the temperature in UK climbed more than the 40-degree-Celsius threshold. The village of Coningsby, in particular, recorded 40.3 degrees Celsius.
“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 added.