Severe drought in Europe exposes Spanish Circle of Stonehenge, Bridge of Nero


The Guadalperal Dolmen, also known as the Spanish Stonehenge, is seen due to the receding waters of the Valdecanas reservoir on the outskirts of El Gordo, Spain August 3, 2022.  REUTERS/Susana Vera

The Guadalperal Dolmen, also known as the Spanish Stonehenge, is seen due to the receding waters of the Valdecanas reservoir on the outskirts of El Gordo, Spain August 3, 2022. REUTERS/Susana Vera

CAIRO – September 19, 2022: Since the beginning of 2022, Europe has been experiencing a long period of unusually high temperatures and a severe lack of precipitation.

As of August, 47 percent of the continent was in drought alert conditions, characterized by a lack of soil moisture and adverse effects on vegetation, according to the Global Drought Observatory.

Andrea Torretti, a senior researcher at the European Commission’s Joint Research Center, told Sky News that Europe’s drought could be the worst in 500 years.

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A body of research, including the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, suggests that droughts like those in Europe are getting worse as climate change pushes temperatures to new extremes.


Spanish Stonehenge

Rock relics and ancient bridges are still being discovered in Europe due to drought. According to Reuters, the water level in Spain’s Valdecañas reservoir has dropped to 28 percent of its capacity, exposing the Spanish circle of Stonehenge.

“It’s a surprise,” Enrique Cedillo, an archaeologist from Madrid’s Complutense University, told Reuters. “It’s a rare opportunity to get it.”

The Guadalperal dolmen is made up of dozens of rocks believed to date back to 5000 BC. come from. It was discovered by a German archaeologist in 1926 and is usually submerged thanks to the establishment of the reservoir in 1963. Since then it has only been fully visible four times.

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“All my life people have told me about the dolmen. I’ve seen parts of it sticking out of the water before, but this is the first time I’ve seen it whole. It’s amazing because you can appreciate the entire complex for the first time in decades,” Angel Castano, president of the local cultural association Raíces de Peralêda, told Atlas Obscura in 2019, when the monument last appeared due to low water levels.

A sightseeing tourist boat sails past the resurfaced remains of an ancient bridge, possibly built under Roman Emperor Nero, in the Tiber River in Rome, Italy.  (Credit: Photographer: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
A sightseeing tourist boat sails past the resurfaced remains of an ancient bridge, possibly built under Roman Emperor Nero, in the Tiber River in Rome, Italy. (Credit: Photographer: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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Bridge of Nero

The severe drought of August also revealed a bridge said to have been built during the reign of Roman Emperor Nero in the first century. The bridge was usually submerged under the waters of the Italian Tiber.

According to historian Anthony Majanlahti, the bridge is said to have originally had four piers, but two were dismantled in the 19th century and one of the bridge piers is often seen in the drier seasons. However, two have come out this year, according to the Associated Press.



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