Europe, US set for sweltering and dry summer

Europe, US set for sweltering and dry summer

Europe and parts of the US are set for a sweltering and dry summer this year, causing risks for crops and boosting demand for energy for cooling at a time when prices of commodities are already high.

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Scientists at the Copernicus Climate Change ServiceCopernicus Climate Change Service, who published their seasonal outlook on Friday, said that hotter and drier weather is highly likely across key agricultural regions in the European Union. It could bring severe drought conditions for farmers who are already battling the effects of climate change.

Abnormally high temperatures could cause natural gas demand for air conditioning. Russia has fought Ukraine and has driven gas prices higher in Europe, leading to a cost of living crisis across the region.

The scientists said there is a 70% to 100% chance that temperatures in the northeastern US, Spain, France and Italy will be well above average from June to August. More than 50% of the chance of below-normal rainfall across swathes of central Europe, France, Spain and the US northwest was more than 50%, the Copernicus team said.

Their model brings together data from scientists in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and the US. The EU program uses billions of measurements from satellites, ships, aircraft and weather stations around the world for its monthly and seasonal forecasts.

Persistent drought has threatened to stress production of crops such as wheat and corn, just as Russia's war in Ukraine threatens to curtail shipments. Copernicus developed models that are intended to help businesses plan for and possibly mitigate weather-related damages.

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