Drought in Europe reveals hunger stones: Pictures

As Europe bakes this summer under record heat waves, drought has also caused water levels to drop in rivers and lakes across the continent.

In the Netherlands, the Waal River is so low that it has fallen below the bottom marks on bridges.

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

And in Spain, receding waters in one reservoir have revealed a prehistoric treasure.

The Dolmen of Guadalperal, or the Spanish Stonehenge, has been uncovered in the Cáceres region for only the fourth time since the 1960s. The stones date back thousands of years but were flooded by development under the dictator Francisco Franco.

Elsewhere in Europe, so-called hunger stones – signs people have left during droughts from previous years – are once again appearing in rivers.

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

“This is absolutely incredible, especially for this time of year,” Martina Becker of German company HGK Shipping told the BBC. “This is an unusual situation for us and the question is what will happen in October, when the normally dry months come. We are already approaching the record low we had in 2018. We could hit that mark next week.”

Weather disasters such as droughts are inextricably linked to human-induced climate change. The planet has already warmed 2.1 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880, according to NASA, and that makes disasters worse. Stopping this vicious cycle requires a significant reduction in our reliance on climate-polluting fossil fuels.

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