A severe drought has dried up rivers and reservoirs across Europe, revealing some ancient and some more recent bits of history. On the Danube River in Serbia, rusting hulks of Nazi warships can be seen above the surface of the water. Still loaded with tons of explosives, they have endangered the region for 78 years. Along the Rhine and Elbe rivers, old “hunger stones” are appearing with carved warnings of hardships ahead. A shrinking reservoir revealed an ancient “Spanish Stonehenge” for the first time since 1963.
Class discussion: Droughts have occurred throughout history, often bringing famine and unrest. Are current droughts in Europe, Asia and the Americas any worse than past dry spells? Are we better or worse prepared to deal with drought? Does the world’s ever-growing population increase pressure on fresh water supplies for both drinking and producing food? How have climate changes led to “migrant crises” around the world? How can a warming world increase both droughts and flooding?