Drought in Europe reveals hunger stones: photos

As Europe cooks this summer under record heatwaves, drought has also caused water levels to plummet on rivers and lakes across the continent.

In the Netherlands, the Waal River is so low that it has dropped below the lower limit on the bridges.

In Germany, the Rhine is so dry that it causes shipping problems.

And in Spain, the waters withdrawn into a reservoir revealed a prehistoric treasure.

The Dolmen of Guadalperal, or Spanish Stonehenge, has been exhibited 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, so-called hunger stones – markers placed by people in past years of drought – are appearing once again in rivers.

It is not uncommon for the water level to drop in the summer months, but this year is particularly extreme.

Martina Becker of the German company HGK Shipping told the BBC: “It’s quite extraordinary, especially at this time of year. This is 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 low we had in 2018. We could reach that level next week. “

Weather disasters such as drought 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 is making the disasters worse. Stopping this vicious circle will require a drastic reduction in our dependence on climate-polluting fossil fuels.