Europe’s relentless heatwave

epa06932840 Beach goers in Scheveningen, The Netherlands. 07 August 2018. Media reports on 07 August 2018 state that Europe is currently in the middle of a heatwave with European temperature records possibly broken in the coming days. EPA-EFE/JERRY LAMPEN

For many people a summer heatwave means a chance to enjoy sunny weather at the beach or in the park.

A lot of people suffer from low levels of Vitamin D, the “sunshine” vitamin. So the fine weather tends to result in an elevated mood in many people, especially as sunshine records have been broken across the continent.

The fine weather may have been good news for sun-worshipers and the seaside holiday trade, but many other aspects of everyday life have been impacted.

Water shortages have begun to hit agricultural output. Poor grazing has forced farmers to bring out fodder saved for the winter months to supplement the meagre grazing available to cattle. Scandinavia has been particularly badly affected. Sweden has strict rules on the importation of animal feed.

Although much of Europe has been exceptionally dry and sunny, there have been some exceptions. Southern Europe, from Iberia through southern Italy to the Balkans and Turkey, has seen twice the average rainfall through the period from May to July.

Much of this rainfall has come with thunderstorms and flash flooding has been widespread. Unfortunately the rapid runoff rarely makes its way into the rivers and watercourses, so even these regions may not escape the threat of drought as autumn approaches.

Brain freeze: keeping zoo animals cool during the heatwave has been a concern across the continent. [Paul Zinden/AFP]

Brain freeze: keeping zoo animals cool during the heatwave has been a concern across the continent. PAUL ZINDEN/AFP
Grazing has been badly affected by the heat with many farmers having to dip into winter feed. [John Thys/AFP]

Grazing has been badly affected by the heat with many farmers having to dip into winter feed. JOHN THYS/AFP
The holiday sector has boomed in many parts of Europe with long, hot days encouraging thousands to head for the coasts, including Scarborough, UK. [Paul Ellis/AFP]

The holiday sector has boomed in many parts of Europe with long, hot days encouraging thousands to head for the coasts, including Scarborough, UK. PAUL ELLIS/AFP
Temperatures have again been 30+ degrees Celsius in recent days across much of Europe, including Paris. [Caroline Blumberg/EPA]

Temperatures have again been 30+ degrees Celsius in recent days across much of Europe, including Paris. CAROLINE BLUMBERG/EPA
The hot weather has included the Balkans (pictured Durres, Albania), although it has been very wet at times. [Armando Babau/EPA]

The hot weather has included the Balkans (pictured Durres, Albania), although it has been very wet at times. ARMANDO BABAU/EPA
Record temperatures are still being set in many parts of Germany (pictured Essen) as the heatwave intensifies. [Friedemann Vogel/PA]

Record temperatures are still being set in many parts of Germany (pictured Essen) as the heatwave intensifies. FRIEDEMANN VOGEL/PA
Source: https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/pictures-europe-relentless-heatwave-180808062638882.html

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