Climate crisis could double extreme summer droughts in Europe, new research suggests

Droughts are the most serious hazard to livestock and crops in almost every part of the world, says WHO

Climate change could more than double the frequency of extreme summer droughts in Europe by the end of the century, a new study suggests.

Extreme droughts, which can cause major water shortages and risk sparking wildfires, will increase by more than 50 per cent in countries such as France, Spain and Italy by 2080, scientists project.

Droughts — periods of abnormally low rainfall that can last weeks, months or even years — are the most serious hazard to livestock and crops in almost every part of the world, the World Health Organization says, and can also increase the risk of disease and death.

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