Europe Drought: The European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) Earth observation mission Sentinel-2 has captured a sequence of images of Europe which reveal how major regions of the continent dried up over July and August this year. Due to a complete lack of rain, Europe is suffering from its worst drought in 500 years.
According to the European Drought Observatory, nearly half of Europe is suffering from the current drought conditions. The Guadiana River in central Spain has dried up completely.
Italy is experiencing its worst drought in a decade. As a result, Lake Garda has been reduced to its lowest level on record.
For several months, there has been no rain in the United Kingdom (UK), which receives ample rainfall every year.
ESA’s constellation of Earth-observing Sentinel satellites is operated by the European Union’s Copernicus Program. On September 5, 2022, EU’s Copernicus Program tweeted a video which shows how the drought changed vast regions across Europe from a verdant green to an arid brown between July 1 and August 31.
In 2022, #drought has affected the whole of Europe Observe how our continent has changed with this mosaic of images acquired by #Copernicus #Sentinel2 🇪🇺🛰️ between 1 July and 31 August🟢2021🌻🟤2022🥀#Drought2022 pic.twitter.com/lXITzYwDFt
— Copernicus EU (@CopernicusEU) September 5, 2022
Copernicus wrote in the tweet that in 2022, drought has affected the whole of Europe.
The pictures reveal significant damage to vegetation in areas in the south and east of England, northern France, and large areas of Germany, Poland, and Eastern Europe, according to a space.com report.
The Global Drought Observatory indicates that 47 per cent of Europe was considered to be in warning conditions in August. This means there was a lack of soil moisture and a negative effect on vegetation.
The drought is said to be the worst to hit Europe in 500 years. Rivers such as the Rhine, Danube and Po have dried up to a great extent. Due to exceptionally hot and dry weather, the risk of forest fires has increased. The last time a mega-drought hit Europe was in 1540.
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This year, rural Spain experienced an extreme summer, and its worst drought in decades. However, the drought had an unexpected side-effect, which has proved to be something archaeologists can rejoice over.
Due to the drought, the waterline of a dam has decreased, and hence, a prehistoric stone circle has emerged from the reservoir.
The prehistoric stone circle is officially known as the Dolmen of Guadalperal. Popularly called the ‘Spanish Stonehenge’, the circle comprises dozens of megalithic stones believed to date back to 5000 BC.
The monument is now fully exposed in one corner of the Valdecañas reservoir, a reservoir on the Tagus river, in the central province of Caceres, Spain. According to authorities, the water level has dropped to 28 per cent of capacity.