Europe’s drought exposes WWII ships, explosives

Climate

This photo provided by the French Navy shows rescue workers rescuing a sailing family after the storm in Revelatta, Corsica island, Friday, Aug.19, 2022. The storm produced gusts of more than 220 kph (136 mph) in some areas Thursday. About 45,000 households were without power in the Mediterranean island of Corsica, where at least five people were killed and dozens of people were injured. (Marine Nationale via AP)

(NewsNation) — In much of the northern hemisphere, the summer of 2022 has been a season of drought and record heat.

A drought is defined as a prolonged period of abnormally low rainfall, leading to a shortage of water. And as water levels are receding, relics across the globe are being unearthed.

Almost half of the 27-nation EU is under drought warning, with conditions worsening in Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania and Spain. The report also noted rising drought hazards outside the EU, in Britain, Serbia, Ukraine and Moldova.

Large areas of the U.S. are either in drought conditions or a drought watch, the first of four levels of advisories. Other parts of the country are experiencing greater than normal rain, triggering landslides and flooding.

“Climate change and low precipitation (are) affecting (people) all across the country and the world,” producing not only drought but serious flooding and other natural disasters that “can hit anyone,” said Sharon Megdal, director of The University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center.

Mother Nature isn’t producing as much snow pack. Without snow to melt, rivers in some areas arevdrying up at concerning levels.

In the western U.S., the effects are dramatic: Seven states and 40 million people living near the Colorado River basin are losing two of the biggest water reservoirs: Lake Powell and Lake Mead.

And as the water has been going down, objects long underwater have reappeared. On Lake Mead, cars, human remains and sunken boats have been discovered as water levels have receded.

In Texas this week, there was a remarkable find.  Dinosaur prints some 113 million years old were exposed due to low rainfall. The tracks were found in Dinosaur Valley State Park near Fort Worth.

Dozen of German warships from World War II have been exposed as the Danube River in eastern Serbia is reaching some of its lowest levels.

Inside the wrecked ships, dozens of explosives have been found. The Serbian government is hiring crews to remove the unearthed bombs and dispose of them.

Parts of the EU could face three more months of warmer and drier than usual conditions as Europe weathers a major drought that has fueled forest fires and devastated crops, the 27-nation bloc’s Earth Observation Program is warning in a report.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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