Europe, UK, Ireland, Trends, Weather/Climate

‘Very scary’: European agriculture hit hard by climate change and drought

With Europe suffering through an extreme drought worsened by climate change that has dried up rivers and left millions sweltering in triple-digit heat this summer, farmers across the continent are sounding warnings about crop losses, as Melissa Rossi reports for Yahoo News.

This summer, Europe is breaking all kinds of records, from high temperatures to low precipitation amounts. Nearly two-thirds of the territory in the 27-country European Union is either dealing with drought or is poised to enter one. 

The European Drought Observatory this week said that 47% of the EU territory was in warning conditions while 17% was “under alert,” meaning that vegetation is stressed due to lack of water. The countries most affected — France, Spain and Italy, as well as Germany — are those that produce the bulk of Europe’s food, a fact that means prices for European commodities are sure to soar this fall and winter.

Climate expert Jorge Olcina, professor of regional geographic analysis at Spain’s University of Alicante, told Yahoo News that what is happening across Europe is “further evidence of the process of global warming” — and he expects it to continue. “The trend is clear. We’ve failed to reduce the level of greenhouse gases we put into the Earth’s atmosphere and the process of heating continues its unstoppable process.”

Source: Yahoo News. Read the full story here
Photo: One of the rice fields dried up and can no longer be cultivated in Vespolate, Italy. (Davide Bertuccio for the Washington Post via Getty Images)
Related: Europe’s drought could be the worst in 500 years, warns researcher
Related: Land temperatures on the rise, weather fluctuations more severe, Europe space chief says

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