Severe drought in northern hemisphere

Severe droughts across the northern hemisphere, from farms in California to waterways in Europe and China, are further disrupting supply chains, driving up food and energy prices and further straining an already-stressed global trading system. Parts of China are experiencing the longest high-temperature heatwave since records began in 1961, according to the National Climate Center of the China Meteorological Administration, and the resulting slump in hydroelectric power has halted production. The drought affecting Spain, Portugal, France and Italy could be the worst in 500 years, said Andrea Toreti, a climate scientist at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. One factor behind this year’s drought is La Nina, climate scientists say. La Niña is the cyclical cooling of water temperatures in the eastern Pacific Ocean, which pushes the jet stream northward and reduces rainfall in parts of Europe, the United States and Asia. The United Nations says the number and duration of droughts globally have increased by 29 percent since 2000, with land degradation and climate change being the main contributors.

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