The drought in Europe may become the biggest in 500 years|  Espresso

The drought in Europe may become the biggest in 500 years| Espresso

About the large-scale drought in Europe reports The Guardian.

“Across Europe, drought is turning once-mighty rivers into trickles, which could have dramatic consequences for industry, freight, energy and food production, as well as supply shortages and rising prices due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” the report said. publication materials.

France’s longest river, the Loire, can be crossed on foot in some places, and the Rhine becomes impassable for barges.

For almost two months in western, central and southern Europe, there have been no significant precipitations and they are not expected in the near future. Therefore, meteorologists predict that this year’s drought could become the worst on the continent in more than 500 years.

Because of shallowing rivers, many barges carrying coal for power plants and vital raw materials for industrial giants are already operating at about 25% capacity to reduce their draft. As a result, the cost of delivery is up to five times.

A complete shutdown of barge traffic on the Rhine would hit the German and European economy hard, with experts estimating that the six-month suspension in 2018 cost around €5bn (£4.2bn).

France’s rivers are not such key freight arteries, but they serve to cool the nuclear plants that generate 70% of the country’s electricity. The rules govern how much nuclear power plants can raise the river’s temperature when they discharge cooling water. The Garonne, Rhone and Loire rivers are already too warm to discharge cooling water, so last week France’s nuclear regulator allowed five power plants to temporarily break the rules.

In Italy’s longest river, the Po, the water level is two meters below normal. Due to the absence of sustained rains in the region since November, the production of maize and risotto rice has been severely affected. In particular, rice producers warn that they may lose up to 60% of their harvest.

Low river levels and high water temperatures can be fatal for many species. The Danube reached 25°C in Bavaria last week and could reach 26.5°C by the middle of the month, meaning the oxygen content will drop below six parts per million, which is fatal for trout.

Norway said extremely low levels of its reservoirs could force it to limit electricity exports.

Follow the events in Ukraine and the world together with Espresso! Subscribe to the Telegram channel:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top