Damage to crops from heatwaves and droughts ‘tripled’ in Europe over past 50 years

Source(s): Independent, the (UK)
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By Daisy Dunne

The impact of heatwaves and droughts on crop production in Europe has approximately tripled in the past 50 years, research suggests.

A study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters has found that, across 28 European countries, the average impact of a heatwave or drought disaster on crop production was three times greater in the period 1991-2015 compared with 1964-1990.


A price spike is a large and temporary surge or fall in price following a short-term shock, such as an extreme weather disaster. Food price spikes can negatively affect both exporting and importing countries, with the world’s poorest – who spend a large proportion of their income on food – often the most affected.


According to the results, the impact of all four types of extreme weather disasters on crop production increased over the study period. However, increases in drought and heatwave-related damages were the most pronounced.

Cereals saw the largest absolute increases in crop losses from heatwaves and droughts over the past five decades, the research found.



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