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England just had its driest July in almost 90 years

Much of Europe is sweltering under historic heat waves and parched conditions hitting everything from agriculture to transport.

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Months of drought and high temperatures have plagued the United Kingdom. July 2018 was the driest July in England since records began in 1935, nearly a century ago.

If this dry weather persists, “many parts of England will move into drought,” according to the British government’s environmental agency.

Low rainfall and a string of hot days have been particularly devastating to the agricultural community. Some farmers have already noticed a drop in their harvests. While this is the ideal time to plant winter vegetables like broccoli and brussels sprouts, many farmers are waiting because their land is too dry.

Even though some people are going on ahead, they are worried that nothing will survive.

Animal farmers are also feeling the effects of the dry weather. Grass in grazing fields has dried up, so the animals can no longer eat it. Similar to the United States, many farmers in Britain and Europe have already started using their winter feed, which could lead to shortages later on in the year.

Dry spells and heat waves have shrunk waterways, cracked farmland, and allowed wildfires to rage throughout much of Europe.

According to the European Drought Observatory, drought warnings or alerts have been issued for over 60 percent of the combined lands in the European Union and the United Kingdom.

One high-ranking European Commission scientist has expressed concern that the continent is headed for its worst drought in 500 years.

In Spain, Portugal, and France, wildfires have scorched thousands of acres of dry brush and destroyed hundreds of homes.

The French government has officially declared this drought to be the “severest” in the country’s history. According to local authorities, tanker trucks are the only source of potable water in dozens of communities.

Germany is in dire need of coal and gasoline in the face of rising global energy prices, but the Rhine River’s low water levels are making it more difficult for ships to transport these commodities.

In order to prevent their ships from grounding, some companies are limiting their cargo loads to 25% of normal levels.

Scientists have reported that heat waves in Europe are increasing in frequency and intensity faster than almost anywhere else on Earth, with human-induced climate change being blamed for the majority of this trend.