As Pakistan drowns under the extreme floods, the countries at the other side of the globe experience record-breaking heatwaves and droughts leading to water restrictions.
Extreme large-scale weather events occurred at the same time over different places this summer, due to which it was termed as the summer of extremes.
Western Europe, central and eastern China and central US reported record-breaking heat extremes, dry weather conditions and a persistent lack of rainfall.
Drought in Europe:
According to the EU’s environmental programme Copernicus, this summer’s drought may be the worst that Europe has experienced in 500 years. Almost half of the Europe went through a “soil moisture deficit” in late August.
Asia’s longest and China’s most important river, Yangtze River, shrank due to extreme temperatures and a severe lack of rainfall.
The dry weather has persisted in western US for so long that drought conditions have become quite the norm. Scientists reported that the last two decades had seen the most extreme drought conditions in western America in all history.
NASA reports that Lake Powell, the second largest water reservoir in the US, is at its lowest level since 1960s.
Most of the cotton fields in Texas, US have been lost to the severe drought. US drought will have global impacts because US is the world’s third largest cotton supplier. The Wall Street Journal predicted that:
“In the U.S., agricultural forecasters expect farmers to lose more than 40% of the cotton crop, while in Europe the Spanish olive-oil harvest is expected to fall by as much as a third amid hot and dry conditions.”
The heat remains to be pervasive and persistent in the US as almost every region of the continental US reports above-average temperatures. The hot and dry weather has led to forest fires in several states and water storage levels dropping.
Scientists have gone as far as to predict that this is just the beginning, and warmer and drier seasons are likely to become the norm. Climate change has become a global concern and a question of what should we expect from now on?