(ORDO NEWS) — While the whole world is fighting the coronavirus, Europe is faced with an additional threat. Due to severe drought, the crop dies, there is nothing to feed the animals, farmers go bankrupt, and the largest rivers become smaller and unsuitable for shipping, and therefore for transportation of goods. The consequences of the current disaster may exceed the antirecord established two years ago, which will hit the European and global economies even more – it faces losses of billions of dollars.
According to mail.ru, two years ago, European weather forecasters and farmers sounded the alarm: the former recorded the highest temperatures during many years of observation, the latter lost crops in volumes never seen before. Record warm weather was even in Scandinavia and the countries adjacent to it: in the Norwegian Arctic regions it reached + 33.5 °. Due to the abnormal heat, the plants were deprived of the necessary moisture, and the yield of some crops halved immediately. Even chip makers who were left without the main raw material – potatoes – were worried. Hydropower also suffered, on which the power supply of many countries that systematically close nuclear plants depends.
In addition, the authorities of the European Union and its individual members had to allocate large-scale subsidies to farmers and affected companies, so that they stay afloat and do not raise prices for basic products. Only solar producers and sellers of hay were the winners, the demand for which grew sharply due to the fact that fresh grass was clearly not enough to feed numerous herds.
The climatic conditions were distributed extremely unevenly. While Northern and Central Europe was exhausted from the heat, record precipitation fell in the south, which partly offset the critical crop shortage. In the fall, precipitation increased over most of the continent, and floods occurred in some regions. Experts did not understand the reasons for what was happening. In 2019, temperature maxima were again beaten, but there was no large-scale drought, and therefore the previous panic was avoided.
This summer, the consequences for people and the economy may well be even more serious. Employees of the Pan-European Climate Change Service named after Copernicus forecast total losses of various industries – primarily agriculture – by billions of dollars. According to their calculations, in Central and Western Europe, according to the results of the three summer months, precipitation will be 40% less than usual, which will entail additional budgetary expenses, which are already forced to be spent more actively than usual because of the coronavirus of states.
However, even financial investments of unprecedented volume cannot prevent another natural cataclysm. The Rhine, Germany’s main river and one of the longest in Europe, began to dry out in April – the water level has not been so low for the past 9 years. Over the entire month, only 5% of the normal rainfall fell in the country, which became the worst indicator since 1881. Meteorologists hope for rains, but so far they are short-lived.
The problem is also relevant for other states. The Czech Republic has faced the most severe drought in modern history, and its situation is exacerbated by the lack of access to the sea. Environment Minister Jiri Brabets called the drought an even more serious challenge than the coronavirus, because of which the country was the first in the EU to completely close its borders. 80% of groundwater sources were affected.
In France, nearly half of all agricultural land was dry; in Romania, reservoirs were crushed critically. In the outskirts of Swiss Geneva, in the early spring of rain, they waited a month and a half, which has not happened for more than 100 years. Back in 2018, some scientists said that the cause of the anomaly was the increased atmospheric pressure that persisted over most of Europe for several months. It formed a “thermal dome” above the ground and prevented rainfall. Like many other weather phenomena of our day, it was caused by “man-made” climate change.
So far, everything can be fixed, but you need to act immediately. The first step is to reduce atmospheric carbon emissions, as outlined in the 2015 Paris Agreement. It does not impose specific obligations on participating States, but prescribes the development and implementation of an action program on its own. The overall ultimate goal is to ensure that by 2100 the average annual temperature on Earth does not rise by more than 2 ° C compared with the pre-industrial era (1850-1900s). Now most of all emissions are produced by the USA, China, India and Russia. The main source of the carbon (or carbon) trace is industrial production, in which a large amount of fuel is burned, and aviation.
But each person individually contributes to the pollution of the planet and climate change – by driving a car or cooking at the stove.
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