Drought in Europe continues to parch farmland

Further heatwaves expected this week and next across Europe
calendar icon 10 August 2022
clock icon 2 minute read

Conditions have deteriorated across Europe as multiple heatwaves roll across the continent, reported Reuters.

In Spain, farmers in the south fear a harsh drought may reduce olive oil output by nearly a third in the world's largest producer. In France, which like Spain has had to contend with recent wildfires, trucks are delivering water to dozens of villages without water.

In Germany, cargo vessels cannot sail fully loaded along the Rhine, a major artery for freight, and along Italy's longest river, the Po, large sandbanks now bake in the sun as water levels recede sharply. In July, Italy declared a state of emergency for areas surrounding the Po, which accounts for more than a third of the country's agricultural production.

As France contends with a fourth heatwave this week, many scientists say the blistering temperatures so far this summer are in line with the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather episodes in Europe.

Britain's weather service on Tuesday issued an amber "Extreme Heat" warning for parts of England and Wales, with no respite in sight from hot dry conditions that have sparked fires, broken temperature records and strained the nation's infrastructure.

On the Doubs River, fewer boat tourists means fewer meals to serve for restaurateur Christophe Vallier - a painful blow just as he hoped to recover from the COVID-19 downturn. And he sees little cause for hope in the future.

"All the Doubs experts say the river is getting drier and drier," Vallier lamented.

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