by Wolfgang Flüs
What happens when our earth is permanently thirsty and the periods of drought become longer and longer? Due to global warming, droughts are increasing and unfortunately no improvement is in sight. Not only distant countries are affected by these heat waves, because Europe is not spared either.
Why is drought becoming more common?
The main trigger for droughts (the absence of precipitation over an unusually long period of time) is climate change, which is why we have been severely affected by global warming for several years. This means that our climate is warming up and average temperatures are rising in the long term around the world. This warming has the consequence that the atmosphere and oceans are warming, glaciers are melting and sea levels are rising.
In addition, the climate zones are being shifted. As a result of these enormous changes, extreme weather events such as drought, heat waves, forest fires, floods and storms are occurring. Humans, animals and nature all have to struggle with it.
What are the consequences of the drought?
Since no precipitation falls for a long period of time during periods of drought, the lack of water is a major challenge. As a result, the groundwater level is also falling and the entire population can quickly run into water shortages. Due to the severely sunk groundwater, the roots of the trees can no longer reach the groundwater, which can lead to major forest deaths.
Agriculture in particular is severely affected by periods of drought. The dry soil leads to crop failures or an increased incidence of plant diseases that damage the harvest. Thus our staple foods are also threatened, which in turn can lead to famine.
When our soils and trees dry out, the risk of forest fires also increases. If the precious trees are on fire, they can no longer purify our air and no longer supply us with oxygen. In addition, the habitat of many plants and animals is taken.
The prolonged heat waves are torture for many people as well and more deaths are reported during the heat waves.
All the news about the global drought
Our earth is increasingly glowing as the average temperature around the world rises. Drought occurs frequently and presents us with great challenges. Here you can find current and past reports on the global drought.
Germany expects the next drought year in 2021
Germany can look back on three past drought years in a row, which left billions in damages in agriculture, industrial production and energy generation. Soils have dried up down to the deeper layers and have not been able to recover and fill up with enough water, despite the recent frequent rainfall. However, there is hope that the water balance could stabilize this year due to the relatively cool winter and spring, and that there will be no further drought year for the time being.
Collapse of the Dutch and Lower Saxony water supplies in summer 2020
Due to the intense heat, the water supplies in Lower Saxony suddenly run out. Drinking water is only available in the supermarket and the fire brigade distributes water for toilets. There are bans on filling the pools or sprinkling the lawn. This is not a fake film, but pure reality in summer 2020, which can hit us again and again. Even the Dutch water supply could no longer withstand the high consumption caused by the heat.
Next heat record - extreme drought in summer 2019
Drought in the summer of the century 2018
Northern and Central Europe in particular suffered heavily from the extreme drought in the summer of 2018. The effects of the drought were mainly forest fires and major crop failures with considerable economic consequences. This time the summer was preceded by a big heat wave in spring. German farmers had to be compensated with 340 million euros.