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The riverbed of the Garonne River under the Pont Des Catalans bridge in Toulouse on Aug. 9, 2022. France is experiencing its worst drought since rain records began in 1959. Alain Pitton / NurPhoto via Getty Images

More than 100 French municipalities have no running drinking water as the country enters its fourth heat wave this summer while drought tightens its grip on Europe.

Sixty percent of land in the EU and UK was under a drought warning or alert in mid-July, the European Drought Observatory said Monday. “No similar data in the last 230 years compares with the drought and heat we are experiencing this year. Then we have had storms," Luca Mercalli, the president of the Italian Meteorological Society, told The Guardian. "These episodes are growing in frequency and intensity, exactly as forecast by climate reports over the last 30 years."

More than 100 French municipalities have no running drinking water as the country enters its fourth heat wave this summer while drought tightens its grip on Europe.

Sixty percent of land in the EU and UK was under a drought warning or alert in mid-July, the European Drought Observatory said Monday. “No similar data in the last 230 years compares with the drought and heat we are experiencing this year. Then we have had storms,” Luca Mercalli, the president of the Italian Meteorological Society, told The Guardian. “These episodes are growing in frequency and intensity, exactly as forecast by climate reports over the last 30 years.”

The desiccated conditions helped fuel wildfires across the continent and are hampering agriculture in numerous regions. Low water levels also threaten to block shipping on German waterways including the Rhine River — which are being used to transport increased coal shipments as Germany scrambles to slash its consumption and reliance on Russian methane-based gas — all as global food shortages and prices rise due to the Russian war in Ukraine as well as drought elsewhere.

“This is going to be the new normal,” Nuria Hernández-Mora, co-founder of New Water Culture, told The Guardian. “Yet we continue to approve the increased use of a resource we don’t have and which is becoming scarcer.”

For a deeper dive:

Drought: The Guardian, CNN, FT; French heat wave: AP; Photos: The Guardian, The Independent; Climate Signals background: Drought, Extreme heat and heat waves, Wildfires

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, sign up for daily Hot News, and visit their news site, Nexus Media News.

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Members of the National Disaster Response Force respond to flooding due to super cyclone Yaas amid the spread of coronavirus in Kolkata, West Bengal, India in 2021. Sudipta Das / Pacific Press / LightRocket via Getty Images

Climate change is already worsening the impact of infectious diseases, like Zika, malaria, and COVID-19, on human health, a study published Monday in Nature Climate Change finds.

“There is no speculation here whatsoever,” Camilo Mora, a geographer at the University of Hawaii who headed the research, told the AP. “These are things that have already happened.”

Climate change is already worsening the impact of infectious diseases, like Zika, malaria, and COVID-19, on human health, a study published Monday in Nature Climate Change finds.

“There is no speculation here whatsoever,” Camilo Mora, a geographer at the University of Hawaii who headed the research, told the AP. “These are things that have already happened.”

Of the 375 known human infectious diseases, researchers found 218 (58%) are exacerbated by at least one of 10 types of climate-linked extreme weather. For example, extreme heat fuels the spread of COVID-19 by forcing people in low-income communities to congregate in air-conditioned rooms, expands regions vulnerable to malaria, and even exposes humans to anthrax, like when a Siberian child touched a reindeer carcass exposed by permafrost melt and started an outbreak in 2016.

“I have to tell you,” Mora told HuffPost, “as this database started to grow, I started to get scared, man.”

As reported by the AP:

“The findings of this study are terrifying and illustrate well the enormous consequences of climate change on human pathogens,” said Dr. Carlos del Rio, an Emory University infectious disease specialist, who was not part of the study. “Those of us in infectious diseases and microbiology need to make climate change one of our priorities, and we need to all work together to prevent what will be without doubt a catastrophe as a result of climate change.”

For a deeper dive:

AP, HuffPost, The Guardian, CBS, Grist, NBC, PBS, ABC, The Conversation, Camilo Mora, Hanna Hammerstein, Tristan McKenzie commentary.

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, sign up for daily Hot News, and visit their news site, Nexus Media News.

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Cars at the Inn at Death Valley immobilized by debris following rain storms. National Park Service

Typically dry Death Valley National Park was hit with a record amount of rain over the weekend, which triggered flash floods, stranding park employees and visitors as all roads were forced to close and vehicles were washed away.

The inch and a half of rain that fell in the 3.4 million acre park this weekend represents about 75% of the park's typical total of 2 inches per year. The flood is the latest in a series of abnormally heavy rain events in the U.S.

Typically dry Death Valley National Park was hit with a record amount of rain over the weekend, which triggered flash floods, stranding park employees and visitors as all roads were forced to close and vehicles were washed away.

The inch and a half of rain that fell in the 3.4 million acre park this weekend represents about 75% of the park’s typical total of 2 inches per year. The flood is the latest in a series of abnormally heavy rain events in the U.S.

Over the week spanning the end of July and beginning of August, three 1-in-1,000 year rain events occurred — in St. Louis, Kentucky, and Illinois. The number of record-breaking extreme precipitation events globally has significantly increased in recent decades, and scientists have documented the fingerprint of global warming in this pattern.

According to the Los Angeles Times:

Death Valley has averaged about 1.96 inches of precipitation per year since record keeping began in 1911, according to the Western Regional Climate Center. Nearly 75% of that amount fell in the space of a few hours on Friday.

Videos posted to social media showed roads turned to rushing rivers that uprooted trees, overturned boulders and flooded park facilities. Dumpsters careened into parked cars, and cars collided with one another, the National Park Service said. At one point, about 1,000 residents and visitors were trapped in the park due to the rising waters and debris, according to officials.

For a deeper dive:

AP, CNN, Axios, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Climate Signals: Extreme precipitation

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, sign up for daily Hot News, and visit their news site, Nexus Media News.

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