Droughts in Europe reveal starvation stones: pictures

As Europe bakes under record heatwaves this summer, droughts have also caused water levels in rivers and lakes to drop across the continent.

In the Netherlands, the Waal river is so low that it fell under the ground marking on bridges.

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

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

The dolmen of Guadalperal, or Stonehenge in Spanish, has been uncovered in the province of Cáceres for only the fourth time since the 1960s. The stones are thousands of years old but were submerged because of development under Francisco Franco’s dictatorship.

Elsewhere in Europe, so-called hunger stones are reappearing in rivers – markings made by people in past droughts.

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

“It’s quite extraordinary, especially for this time of year,” Martina Becker of Germany’s HGK Shipping told the BBC. “This is an unusual situation for us and the question is what happens in October when the normally dry months come. We are already approaching the record low of 2018. We could reach that level next week.”

Weather catastrophes such as droughts are inextricably linked to human-caused climate change. According to NASA, the planet has already warmed by 2.1 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880, and that’s making disasters worse. To stop this vicious circle, we must drastically reduce our dependence on climate-damaging fossil fuels.

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