July was the driest in France and England in decades. In Greece, fires in July destroyed 13,000 hectares.
The effects of the climate crisis were evident in Europe in July. It wasn’t just heat waves, droughts and wildfires that were affecting the population. According to CNN, England has recorded the driest July since 1935, and France has recorded since 1959. In Greece, fires have devastated many areas.
Rainfall in England averaged just 35 per cent that month at 23.1 mm, according to the UK’s National Weather Service. The drought hit the south and east of the country in particular. Southern England has recorded its driest July since 1836, with just 17 percent of average rainfall. In addition to the drought, temperatures above 40°C were measured in Great Britain for the first time.
In France, precipitation was much lower than in Great Britain at 7.8 mm. According to the Minister for Environmental Transformation, Christophe Picchu, this represents a shortfall of 88 percent of what would have been necessary. The heat wave has caused wildfires to erupt in the western and southern parts of the country. The largest wildfire destroyed more than 350 hectares of forest in southern France on Sunday night.
Almost half of Europe is at risk of drought
According to the European Forest Fire Information System EFFIS, about 13,000 hectares fell victim to flames in July in several large forest fires in Greece. According to the daily Kathimerini, the value corresponds to about 60 percent of the total area burned this year, which is more than 21 thousand hectares. The damage was particularly severe from a fire that raged for several days in Dadia National Park in northeastern Greece. About 4,500 hectares of forest were destroyed there alone.
According to researchers at the European Commission’s Joint Research Center, nearly half of Europe’s territory, including the United Kingdom, is at risk of drought. 44 percent of the area will be subject to a drought warning, and nine percent to droughts.
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