Recent droughts and heatwaves in Europe worst in 2,000 years, study claims

Edited By: Bharat Sharma WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Mar 16, 2021, 01:54 PM(IST)

Representative image of a drought Photograph:( AFP )

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According to the study, the heatwaves have had a series of ill-effects in the region - ranging from thousands of early deaths, destruction of crops, and the increasingly common sight of forest fires

Heatwaves and droughts that have plagued Europe in the last seven years constitute the most extreme weather-related events in the region for over 2,000 years, a research posits.

To ascertain this, the researchers analysed tree rings dating back to Roman rings, but attributing the extreme changes to global warming.

According to the study, the heatwaves have had a series of ill-effects in the region - ranging from thousands of early deaths, destruction of crops, and the increasingly common sight of forest fires.

The study was undertaken by researchers at the CzechGlobe centre, and referred to the sharp rise as particularly scary for agriculture and forestry.

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With these changes, heatwaves and droughts will become more common in the future. In addition, the study found that summer climate in Europe has been drying over the last two millennia. Even though the data only considers climate patterns till 2018, Europe has experienced harsh summers both in 2019 and 2020.

Scientists believe that climate change driven changes caused circulation of air over the continent to change. The study was published in the journal nature Geoscience and analysed 27,000 growth rings from 147 oak trees.

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For the last century, researchers referred to living oaks, along with timber from old buildings. For the Middle Ages, scientists used oak flourishing in river deposits. For the Roman period, wood was used. Based on this, they determined temperatures from wood density and width. They checked how much water was available to trees, based on which they determined the timeline and intensity of previous droughts.

Turns out, what Europe experienced in the last few years is worse than what happened in the last 2,000 years.

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