Experts are sounding the alarm. Drought threatens ‘all of our existence’


Drought threatens both crops, nature and wild animals. And prolonged drought degrades the environment, which is a problem for all of us. Scientists have calculated that in 23 years, the number and duration of droughts have increased by 30 percent, and the associated desertification already affects a quarter of the globe.

Thirsty hedgehogs, fighting for survival, can even overcome their natural fear of humans. During a drought, even a few drops of water can make the difference between life and death. – Animals also have heart attacks, strokes, weakness, fainting and deaths – points out Marzena Białowolska-Barnyk from the Marzena Białowolska Wild Animals Foundation.

Drought also means fewer insects and small rodents, which are a food base for predators. Foresters from Szczecinek noticed that storks more and more often decide to take a dramatic step and throw some of their offspring out of the nest. – Usually one or two chicks are thrown out to keep the brood. If the storks had not done so, they would not have fed the entire brood and the entire brood would have been lost, doomed to extinction – explains Katarzyna Klimek from the Szczecinek Forestry Inspectorate.

It’s a natural mechanism, but it’s used in an increasingly unnatural situation. Experts are alarming that for several years the drought has been haunting Poland in spring, and it is becoming more and more severe.

– These forecasts for the summer and autumn seasons are also not optimistic. Because if we already have a problem of drought, unfortunately it will continue – emphasizes Dr. Joanna Remiszewska-Michalak, an atmospheric physicist.

The problem concerns not only Poland, but the whole world – it is a consequence of progressive climate change. “Land degradation is a threat not only to our food security, livelihoods, ecosystems and biodiversity, but to our entire existence,” said UN General Assembly President Csaba Kőrösi on June 17, the International Day to Combat Drought and Desertification.

Remiszewska-Michalak: there is no area of ​​our lives where climate change has not left its markTVN24

Drought hits agriculture

Scientists have calculated that in 23 years, the number and duration of droughts have increased by 30 percent, and the associated desertification already affects a quarter of the globe. – We often see how the wind blows and the soils are blown away, right? When we lose 2-3 centimeters of soil, we lose 1,000 years, because that’s how long it takes for this layer to rebuild, Dr. Joanna Remiszewska-Michalak points out.

The consequences are already affecting agriculture – the soil has worse and worse properties, so it requires increased fertilization, and yet it returns worse and worse crops. In addition, there are disturbing forecasts. – High temperature, the so-called burner, burns the plants. It really won’t be too fun – says Leszek Kierzek, a farmer from Tarnów Podgórny and adds that he is looking for rain, but is afraid that it will be torrential and will destroy more than help.

Over Poland, instead of a few days of moderate rain, intense but short-term downpours appear more often, which additionally does not affect the problem of soil drying.

– Let’s try to look at the ground in our garden after each such stormy, intense rainfall. We will see that the intense rainfall will not wet the soil deeper than 5, maximum 10 centimeters – says Prof. Bogdan Chojnicki, climatologist from the University of Life Sciences in Poznań. – On a hot day, the grass and plants can evaporate up to 4 liters per square meter – adds Rafał Maszewski, a climatologist and the author of the weather portal.

Corn field affected by drought near Różanki near Gorzów WielkopolskiPAP/Lech Muszyński

More and more Polish cities reduce the number of short-cut lawns in favor of small, flowery meadows. Such plants hold more moisture on hot days, giving shelter to insects and food for smaller predators. – We try to mow those areas that do not need to be mowed often, mow a few times a year at most, so that it is some basic care – says Paweł Śpiechowicz from the City of Lodz Office.

Scientists add that climate change – although in a less visible way – also affects places where there is no shortage of water, i.e. seas and oceans. At the same time, they warn that in the end, their main culprit will suffer the most: man.

– Nature will do just fine without us. We can pollute it, it will adapt, it will change. A new nature will emerge, which we do not know yet, while we will be hit by the effects of what we do – says Prof. Jan Marcin Węsławski from the Institute of Oceanology of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

How to save water?IMGW/MGMiŻŚ

Main photo source: Facts after noon TVN24

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