June 7, 2023

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Drought conditions affected 60% of EU and UK territories

Drought conditions affected 60% of EU and UK territories


Sixty percent of the land in the European Union and the United Kingdom — an area larger than Alaska and Texas combined — falls under either of them Drought Warnings or AlertsAccording to the European Drought Observatory.

The results were based on data from a 10-day period towards the end of July. The observatory said 45% of the land is now covered with “alerts,” meaning there is a moisture deficit in the soil, while 15% is under the more severe “alert” level, as vegetation is stressed.

The data coincided with a report published on Monday by the European Union’s climate watchdog Copernicus, which said most of Europe experienced drier than average in July, with many local records smashed in the west due to poor rainfall and droughts that hit several parts of the south. West, Southwest and East. Southeast Europe.

These circumstances facilitated The spread and intensification of forest firesaccording to the report, which also comes parts of Europe It endures successive brutal heat waves, in what is shaping up to be one of the hottest summers on the continent.

The new data comes as the world grapples with a food crisis that is only waning as Russia lifts its embargo on grain exports from Ukraine. Extreme weather and supply chain issues have exacerbated the crisis and are likely to continue for some time.

A recent report from the Joint Research Center, the European Commission’s science service, forecast an 8-9% decline in corn, sunflower and soybean production in the EU due to hot, dry conditions during the summer, well below the five. year average.

“Dry conditions from the previous months along with the high temperatures and low precipitation rates seen in many areas during July may have negative impacts on agricultural production and other industries such as river transportation and energy production,” said Freya Famburg, chief Copernican scientist.

In July, water reservoirs in several parts of Europe were at very low levels, insufficient to sustain demand, according to Copernicus.

Southern England had its driest July since records began in 1836, while across the UK the month was the driest in July in more than 20 years. The UK saw only 46.3 mm, or 56%, of average rainfall for the month following a long period of drier-than-average months, with the exception of February.

In France, July saw a total of 9.7 mm of precipitation, making it the driest July since records began in 1959 and representing a rainfall deficit of 85% compared to the 1991-2020 average.

Meanwhile, in Italy, the lack of rain since December 2021 has hit the northern parts of the country and The Po River has completely dried up In some places earlier this summer. In mid-July in Cremona – about halfway along the Po River – the water was more than 8 meters below “hydrographic zero”, which affected hydropower production, agriculture and transportation.

Copernicus said the situation improved as a result of rainfall at the end of the month, which led to a 40cm increase in the river, although hydroelectric production in the area is still affected.

Copernicus said July was also one of the three warmest globally, registering nearly 0.4 degrees Celsius above the 1991-2020 average, and the sixth hottest July in Europe.

Spain, France and the United Kingdom I was exposed for at least one day above 40°C last month. In the UK, temperatures have risen even more More than 40 degrees Celsius (104.5°F) on July 19 with the English village of Coningsby recording 40.3°C for the first time ever.

Meanwhile, Spain on Monday announced the warmest month of July in more than 60 years.

July 2022 was extremely hot in Spain, the warmest since at least 1961, with an average temperature of 25.6°C. [78.1 Fahrenheit]It is 2.7 degrees Celsius [4.9 Fahrenheit] The country’s national weather agency, AEMET, said in a Twitter post. July was 0.2°C [0.4 Fahrenheit] higher than July 2015, which was by far the warmest month of July.

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