Tackling drought issues for food security
29 November 2018
This summer's drought is a harsh reminder of how unusual weather can cause havoc for farmers – even in a rich part of the world like Western Europe. While there is a wealth of satellite data available to help predict the risk of drought, it can be daunting for a non-expert to handle. ESA's Food Security Thematic Exploitation Platform makes this task much easier.
‘German grain yield tumbles in the heat' and ‘Record drought grips Germany's breadbasket' were just a couple of the headlines to hit the news in the summer. Now, the first assessments for Germany's winter wheat reveal that yield is down by 35%, making this year's harvest the lowest in 15 years.
As climate change takes a grip, extreme weather events – not just heatwaves, but also storms and cold – are likely to become more frequent and more severe.
Top story on Copernicus
When we think of climate change, one of the first things to come to mind is melting polar ice. However, ice loss isn't just restricted to the polar regions. According to research published today, glaciers around the world have lost well over 9000 gigatonnes (nine trillion tonnes) of ice since 1961.