Droughts have also led water levels in rivers and lakes across the continent to plummet as Europe bakes this summer in record heat waves.
The Waal river in the Netherlands is currently so low that it has dipped below the bottom marker on bridges.
The Rhine in Germany is so dry that it is impeding transport.
And in Spain, a prehistoric treasure was discovered as one reservoir’s waters receded.
For just the fourth time since the 1960s, the Dolmen of Guadalperal, sometimes known as the Spanish Stonehenge, has been made public in the province of Cáceres. The stones were drowned under Francisco Franco’s dictatorship despite the fact that they were thousands of years old.
In other parts of Europe, so-called “hunger stones,” which people erected in rivers during previous droughts, are reappearing.
Although summertime water level drops are usual, this year is particularly severe.
For this time of year, Martina Becker from the German company HGK Shipping told the BBC, “It’s quite exceptional.” “Since this is an unique occurrence for us, it begs the issue of what will transpire in October, when the traditionally dry months start. We’re already getting close to the record-low level we had in 2018. Next week, we might achieve that level.
Droughts and other weather catastrophes are intrinsically related to climate change caused by humans. According to NASA, the earth has already warmed by 2.1 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880, which is worsening natural calamities. We must dramatically reduce our reliance on climate-damaging fossil fuels to break this vicious loop.
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