Europe’s heat wave hits record highs hurting crops, animals and prompting wildfires
The sun sets over the Baltic Sea in Heidekate, northern Germany, on Monday. Parts of Europe are enduring a prolonged period of record-setting high temperatures which are causing droughts and suffocating fish.
The heat wave gripping large stretches of Europe has already been blamed for deadly forest fires and crop failures. Now freshwater fish could be the next victims.
Some regions in Germany sweltered as the temperature hit 39 C and the German Meteorological Office said the country’s all-time record of 40.3 C could be topped Tuesday.
Rivers like the Rhine and the Elbe have soaked up so much heat that fish are beginning to suffocate.
“I’m expecting a tragedy as soon as next week,” Philipp Sicher, from the Swiss Fishery Association, told German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa).
In Hamburg, authorities collected almost five metric tons of dead fish from ponds over the weekend, dpa reported. Firefighters have started pumping fresh water into some ponds and lakes in a bid to raise oxygen levels.
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