Brussels experts warn of Europe’s worst drought in 500 years

Europe is facing the worst drought in the last 500 years, experts from the European Commission warned Tuesday in a report in which they point out that 47 percent of the territory of the European Union is in August in drought warning and 17 percent on alert due to low rainfall.

In total, 64 percent of the European continent is on warning or alert, which increases the danger of the spread of fires in the EU territory. These are the conclusions of the report of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC), after analyzing the data provided by the European Drought Observatory.

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The report confirms the emergency situation recorded in July and consolidates the evolution and impact of the prolonged drought in Europe. “According to JRC experts, the current drought appears to be the worst for at least 500 years,” Brussels said in a statement.

Crop forecasts this summer point to a 16 percent drop in corn production, a 15 percent drop in soybeans and a 12 percent drop in sunflower production, while rainfall deficits have affected almost all of Europe’s rivers with a major impact on the hydropower sector, river transport and cooling systems.

“The combination of severe drought and successive heat waves has created unprecedented pressure on water levels across the EU. We are currently experiencing significantly above-average fires and a significant impact on harvests,” warned Culture and Innovation Commissioner Mariya Gabriel.

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According to the Bulgarian politician, climate change is “undoubtedly” more perceptible with each passing year and therefore defended the work of the European Executive to study the crisis, putting its best technology at the service of environmental protection and to prevent crises that hit EU citizens.

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