story

Report: Europe Facing Worst Drought in 500 Years

    Report: Europe Facing Worst Drought in 500 Years
    Last updated: 3 months ago
    Image credit: AP [via Al Jazeera]

    Facts

    • According to a preliminary analysis from the European Drought Observatory (EDO), Europe is experiencing its worst drought in at least five centuries, with 47% of the continent under warning conditions and a further 17% in a state of alert. [1]
    • The "severe drought" - affecting Europe since the start of 2022 - has "been further expanding and worsening as of early August," the EDO said. Extended periods of lack of rainfall combined with a "sequence of heatwaves from May onwards" have only made matters worse, the report concluded. [2]
    • Hydro and other power plants lack sufficient water to maintain cooling systems, crops have reduced 12% -16% compared to the last five years, and low water levels have reduced inland shipping of products, including coal and oil. [3]
    • Western Europe-Mediterranean is expected to continue to experience hotter and drier than normal conditions until November, according to the report. [3]
    • A series of recent heatwaves, droughts, and fires across the world have prompted a revived focus on global warming and climate change. [4]
    • Show more

    Spin

    Narrative A

    We were warned for decades about the dangers of failing to address global warming. Now the consequences of our failures, such as record-breaking heatwaves, droughts, and declining crop yields, are finally upon us.

    Narrative B

    It's easy to dismiss extreme weather events as a consequence of climate change, but in reality, weather events are usually influenced by a myriad of factors, including natural variability. More research is needed before we can establish any direct causal link between the current situation and climate change.

    Articles on this story