The climate situation in Europe is, every year, more alarming. Recent studies show that severe drought could hit the continent in 2023, which is even more alarming than what was already recorded last year.
Research conducted by the Institute of Geodesy at the University of Technology Graz (TU Graz) in Austria reveals that groundwater levels in the Old Continent have remained very low since 2018, “although extreme weather events with floods temporarily give a different impression.”
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The first records of the drought issue in Central Europe can be seen in a 2020 publication by Eva Boergens. At that time, the researcher noticed that there was a significant water shortage in the summer of 2018 and 2019 in the region. Since then, studies revealed this year, there has been no increase in groundwater levels.
on the contrary. Analyzes by scientists Torsten Mayer-Gürr and Andreas Kvas based on satellite images showed that drought is spreading across Europe, with insufficient precipitation and sweltering heat than usual.
lack of snow
Studies by the CIMA Research Foundation warn of the same dangers of dehydration, but from a different perspective. In an analysis also conducted using satellite imagery, the Foundation noted a sharp decrease in the amount of snow in the winter of 2022 and 2023 in the Alpine region, compared to 2021.
“Moderate temperatures in the fall and winter, along with less precipitation in the form of snow, resulted in a significant deficit in water snow equivalent (the amount of water stored in the form of snow), for the second year in a row,” the UP scores.
According to the foundation, “images of ski slopes reduced to miserable expanses of artificial snow are not just a sign of a problem for tourism: in fact, the scarcity of precipitation in the form of snow in the Alps could be a serious problem on the other hand. From the management of water resources Because it means that the water supply for snow is scarce.”
This combination of factors is already causing problems for Europe, especially in the summer of 2022, with draining river basins, stagnant waters, and various environmental and social impacts.
“Not only have countless aquatic species lost their habitats and the dry soils have caused many problems for agriculture, but the energy shortage in Europe has been exacerbated as a result. Nuclear power plants in France lack cooling water to generate enough electricity and hydroelectric power plants cannot meet their needs. It works without enough water, ”the researchers of the University of Graz explain.
With the worrisome climate situation continuing, the outlook for 2023 is gloomy and points to a drier summer. Torsten Mayer-Gürr says that, a few years ago, he could not have imagined that this would be a problem on the continent, but the issue of water in Europe has become “very precarious”.
In addition to satellite imagery, residents and tourists can already see the severity of the drought with the naked eye. In Venice, Italy, for example, the tides are so low that it’s impossible for gondolas, water taxis, and ambulances to navigate some of the canals.
Italy faces weeks of drought. In Venice, the tides are unusually low and detrimental to the navigation of gondolas and water taxis in the canals.
While much is said about severe droughts in Europe, climate change also brings another danger to the continent: floods. Research published in the journal Nature Climate Change warns that river flood risks in the region could reach unprecedented levels due to global warming and the continued development of flood-prone areas.
Scientists explain that global warming is causing a huge loss of giant glaciers in the mid-oceans, causing a sudden rise in water levels – leading to severe flooding.
Video: Drone footage shows the devastation caused by floods in Germany
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