Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Green
Energy & Science

European Food, Power Markets Face Drier Future as Planet Warms

New research suggests severe drought could double in frequency during the decades ahead.

This picture taken near Loue, northwestern France, on July 28, 2020, shows a corn field suffering from drought and sown in poor weather conditions in the spring. - In Sarthe area, farmers who cannot irrigate will start silageing fodder corn next week. (Photo by JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER / AFP) (Photo by JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images)
This picture taken near Loue, northwestern France, on July 28, 2020, shows a corn field suffering from drought and sown in poor weather conditions in the spring. - In Sarthe area, farmers who cannot irrigate will start silageing fodder corn next week. (Photo by JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER / AFP) (Photo by JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images)Photographer: JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP

European countries could face severe drought twice as frequently in the coming decades if they fall short in cutting emissions, according to new research that shows how shifting rain patterns will expose more people to climate risk. 

The continent could be heading towards a future of more extreme drought, according to the study published Tuesday in the journal Frontiers in Water. That will likely endanger agricultural yields, hydropower generation and river transportation. Record summer heat in Germany over the last few years has already dried up the Rhine river and prompted billions of dollars in insured losses across Europe.