Droughts in Europe: Rainfall in next few weeks crucial to determine outcome, report says
Most of the southern and western countries of the European Union are affected by an incipient drought where concerns are growing for water supply, agriculture and energy production, according to a new report by the European Commission’s (EC) Joint Research Centre, the EC said on March 20.
Due to an exceptionally dry and warm winter, soil moisture and river flow are already showing significant anomalies, especially in France, Spain and northern Italy, the report said.
In the Alps region, the snow accumulation was well below average and is even lower than in the winter of 2021-2022. This will lead to a sharp reduction in the contribution of snowmelt to river flows in the perialpine region in spring and early summer 2023.
“The rainfall over the next few weeks will be crucial in determining the evolution of the current drought and its impacts,” the EC said.
Europe and the Mediterranean region could experience an extreme summer this year, similar to 2022.
The report recommends close monitoring and appropriate use of water as well as the implementation of targeted sectoral adaptation strategies and a enhanced cooperation, as these climate and weather models are expected to be more frequent in the future.
Hotter and drier than usual conditions are also occurring in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region, where a severe lack of rainfall is affecting the Maghreb and Turkey , as shown in the JRC MARS Bulletin on the North Africa, the EC said.
(Photo: Jorge Barrios, via Wikimedia Commons)
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