Six Swiss military helicopters have been assigned a special mission in the summer heat. Over the next two weeks, they will transfer up to 400,000 liters of water to nearly empty tanks on mountain pastures.
Farmers in the area have asked for help to get enough drinking water for thousands of cows, pigs and goats. To avoid droughts that can lead to a shortage of feed later this year.
Switzerland is one of the European countries affected by a severe heat wave this summer. According to the authorities in the state of Friborg, this year there was also a significant water shortage.
Farmer Jack Rovio says the help came at the right time.
– We were a day and a half away from having nothing at all. He says he was too close.
Without the additional water supply, the animals would have had to move to graze, to areas where the winter supply of fodder would now normally grow.
The military had to help move water during droughts in 2015 and 2018, too.
With global warming, this type of mission is likely to happen more often in the future, Army Chief Matthias says Tuesday.
It is not only animals that are struggling. France is experiencing its third heat wave this summer, and the worst drought ever recorded.
Birds, squirrels, hedgehogs and other small animals have become dehydrated or malnourished due to the heat, Reuters reports.
About 200 were rescued by an animal shelter near Nice at the beginning of August. Many of them had left the nest before they were old enough to fend for themselves, seeking shelter from the heat.
– It’s a very hot summer. They can’t get by on their own, so we pick them up and raise them, says animal herder Laura Borders.
In addition, many streams, lakes and ponds dried up. Kills insects and larvae that feed on animals
It pumps oxygen to the fish
The Tiel River, which runs through the small village of Lux, is 50 meters wide. Now you can see thousands of dead fish in the dry areas of the river, the Associated Press reports.
– Since 2015, we’ve had this situation more or less every year, except for 2021 when we had more rainy summers. Now it is unfortunately common, says Jean-Philippe Coasne, director of environmental protection for the Bourgogne-Franche-Comte region.
On a trout farm in Oberursel in Germany, they try to help the fish by pumping more oxygen and water into the ponds. The heat also means there is less oxygen in the water, according to German television station DEZDF.
Rescue the dog from the car
Britain is headed for another heat wave. Temperatures are expected to rise to 35 degrees in the next few days.
Police in Nottinghamshire are now asking people not to leave their dogs in cars. Earlier this week they had to smash a car window to save a dog from the heat, A video shared by the police appears.
It is clear from climate research that human emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases contribute to an increase in the frequency and intensity of heat waves.
The globe is currently 1.1 degrees warmer than pre-industrial times. Countries around the world have agreed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. Massive and rapid emissions cuts are needed if this is to be achieved, and to avoid the worst consequences of climate change, according to the United Nations Climate Panel.
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