Climate forecasts show that by the end of the 21st century, extreme dry periods in Europe will begin to occur twice as often.
Summer droughts are a hot topic for Europe. Since now scientists are seeing that they are happening more and more often. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), droughts are the most dangerous for crops and livestock. Extreme heat affects 55 million people worldwide every year.
The authors of the new work believe that from 2080 to 2099 in Europe, there will be an increase in the frequency and intensity of summer droughts. In addition, precipitation will increase in winter and decrease in summer. Also, for central Europe, the annual probability of extreme drought increases dramatically, in the summer months it will be 25%.
The authors identified the four driest places in Europe: France, the Alps, the Mediterranean, and the Iberian Peninsula.
In Eastern Europe and the Alps, severe and extreme droughts are 20% and 40% likely to occur, respectively. For France, models predict an increase in the frequency of extreme droughts of up to 60%. In the Mediterranean, the same figure will be 80% in the summer months. In the Iberian Peninsula, the percentage of extreme droughts is the highest of all regions – 96% in July and 88% in August.
As a result, the European average will be 50%, which is how likely the region will experience extreme droughts between 2080 and 2099.