Droughts in Europe reveal hunger stones: photos
As Europe bakes this summer under record heatwaves, droughts have also caused water levels in rivers and lakes to plummet across the continent.
In the Netherlands, the river Waal is so low that it has fallen below the lower mark of bridges.
In Germany, the Rhine is so dry that it is causing shipping problems.
And in Spain, the receding waters of a reservoir have revealed a prehistoric treasure.
Guadalperal Dolmen, or Spanish Stonehenge, was exposed in the province of Cáceres for only the fourth time since the 1960s. The stones date back thousands of years but were flooded due to development under the dictatorship of Francisco Franco.
Elsewhere in Europe, supposedly “hunger stones” appear in the rivers once again – markers placed by people in the droughts of years past.
It is not uncommon for water levels to drop during the summer months, but this year is particularly extreme.
“It’s quite extraordinary, especially at this time of year,” said Martina Becker of German company HGK Shipping. BBC. “It’s an unusual situation for us and the question is what happens in October when the usually dry months come. We are already approaching the record level we had in 2018. We could reach that level next week. .”
Weather-related disasters such as droughts are inextricably linked to human-induced climate change. The planet has already warmed by 2.1 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880, according to NASA, and that makes disasters worse. To stop this vicious circle, we will have to drastically reduce our dependence on climate-polluting fossil fuels.