Last summer was among the hottest on record in Europe, with record high temperatures that sent millions of people across the continent seeking shelter from the heat. This summer, experts warn, will be no different as a result of climate change – even after months-long lockdowns worldwide cut carbon emissions by 17% compared to last year.
Yet it isn’t just prolonged heatwaves that should worry us. So should depleted freshwater sources. Much of France, for instance, is expected to suffer from prolonged droughts between now and September.
Water shortages won’t be limited to Europe, of course. Across much of Africa and Asia, where freshwater sources are already scarce as it is, extreme droughts will make matters worse for hundreds of millions of people in the years to come.
According to the United Nations, around 800 million people lack even basic access to drinking water worldwide, while at least 2 billion people need to rely on badly contaminated water sources, which spread diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid and other potentially deadly diseases. Read more…