Europe Is Currently Going Through Its Worst Drought in 500 Years
In the aftermath of some of the worst heat waves the continent has ever seen, an August report from the European Drought Observatory (EDO) just confirmed that Europe is experiencing its worst drought in at least 500 years.
The agency, which is led by the European Commission, explained that two-thirds of the continent are either in a state of alert or warning. For the past few weeks, the continent has seen higher temperatures, leading to wildfires, health warnings, and stronger calls to mitigate climate change.
The analytical report suggests that the drought since the beginning of 2022 has only expanded and worsened. This is due, in large part, to a severe lack of precipitation, compounded only by the past months' heatwaves. It has gone on to affect river discharges across the continent.
According to the study, 47 percent of Europe is under warning conditions and 17 percent are in a state of alert, to be exact. These have severely impacted vegetation and crop production.
Crops like grain maze are set to be 16 percent lower than the average for the past five years. Soybean and sunflower yields have fallen, too, by 15 percent and 12 percent, respectively.
At the very least, the EDO pointed out that mid-August rainfall has helped improve the conditions. In some cases, however, thunderstorms have only damaged other areas. Warmer and drier conditions will persist until November 2022, especially in parts of the Iberian Peninsula and the Western Euro-Mediterranean region.