Italy will declare a state of emergency in drought-stricken regions
The Italian government plans to declare a state of emergency in response to a severe drought that has hit parts of the country, the prime minister's office said. Mario Draghi. The government will meet today to announce the measures affecting the hardest hit regions. The north of the country is particularly hard hit, with large lakes, including Lake Garda, containing much less water than usual at this time of year.
The Po, the longest river in Italy, with a delta near Venice, is at some points along its course at its lowest level in the last 70 years. The cities of Pisa and Verona introduced water restrictions, and Venice and Milan turned off some of their fountains.
The frequency of dry spells in the Mediterranean region is largely attributed to climate change.
Parts of Portugal and Spain are experiencing the most intense drought in a thousand years due to atmospheric high pressure fueled by climate change, according to research published today, which warns of serious consequences for wine and olive production.
In a new modeling study published in the journal Nature Geoscience, US researchers found that this high-pressure system "has changed dramatically over the past century and that these changes in the North Atlantic climate are unprecedented in the past millennium".
Using climate model simulations over the past 1.200 years, the study found that this high-pressure system began to grow and cover a larger area about 200 years ago, as greenhouse gas pollution began to increase.