Until now, 2022 is classified in Italy as the hottest year ever with a temperature even higher than +0.98 degrees compared to the historical average, but there are also practically halved rainfall along the Peninsula with a decline of 45%. This is what emerges from the Coldiretti analysis relating to the first seven months of the year on Isac Cnr data, which has been carrying out surveys in Italy since 1800. The most evident climatic anomaly this year occurred in the summer with the month of June which recorded an average temperature well +2.88 degrees higher than the average on values close to the maximum recorded in 2003 while in the month of July the column was +2.26 degrees higher than the average, lower only than in 2005. We are facing, explains Coldiretti, a devastating impact of drought and high temperatures with damage to agriculture that exceeds 6 billion euros, equal to 10% of national production. The Italian countryside is at the end with production drops of 45% for corn and fodder used to feed the animals, 20% for milk in the stables, 30% for durum wheat for pasta of over 1/5 of the production of soft wheat, 30% of rice, minus 15% fruit burned by temperatures of 40 degrees, minus 20% mussels and clams killed by the lack of water exchange in the Po Delta, where – highlights Coldiretti – the areas of “Dead water”, assaults by insects and grasshoppers with tens of thousands of hectares devastated. The harvest that has just begun in Italy is also worrying with the prospect of a 10% drop in grapes while – continues Coldiretti – there is alarm in the olive groves with the heat that threatens to bring down production yields. In addition to the plains, the effects of climate change are therefore also felt in the mountains – underlines Coldiretti – with a profound change in the landscape with pastures that are increasingly dry and pools for watering the dry animals due to the lack of rain and high temperatures that are also drying up the glaciers at the highest altitudes. The lack of water undermines a fundamental system for agriculture and farming in the mountains, putting at risk typical products, from cheeses to cured meats.A heritage preserved over time – highlights Coldiretti – thanks to agricultural companies that ensure a daily commitment for the protection of agricultural crops, the protection of the territory from hydrogeological instability and the maintenance of food traditions. The overheating trend is therefore evident in Italy where the ranking of the hottest years in the last two centuries is concentrated in the last decade and includes in order 2018, 2015, 2014, 2019 and 2020. Climate change is was accompanied by an evident tendency to tropicalization which – continues Coldiretti – manifests itself with a higher frequency of violent events, seasonal delays, short and intense rainfall and the rapid transition from the sun to bad weather, with significant temperature changes. To change significantly in Italy is the temporal and geographical distribution of rainfall, so much so that drought has become the most significant calamity for Italian agriculture with damage to the quantity and quality of crops, according to Coldiretti’s analysis. However, Italy remains a rainy country with about 300 billion cubic meters of water falling annually, but due to infrastructural deficiencies – Coldiretti denounces – only 11% of it is retained. Faced with the tropicalization of the climate, it is necessary to organize to collect water in the wettest periods to make it available in times of difficulty. This is why – continues Coldiretti – maintenance, saving, recovery and recycling of water with infrastructural works, strengthening the network of reservoirs on the territories, creating basins and also using the former quarries to collect rainwater. “Farmers are already committed to doing their part to promote the rational use of water, the development of low-impact irrigation systems and innovation with less water-demanding crops, but it must not be forgotten that water it is essential to keep agricultural systems alive without which the survival of the territory, the production of food and the competitiveness of the entire food sector is at risk “, affirms the president of Coldiretti Ettore Prandini in underlining the strategic nature of the project invasi elaborated by Anbi and Coldiretti. “Agriculture – concludes Prandini – is in fact the economic activity that more than any other experiences the consequences of climate change on a daily basis, but it is also the most committed sector to combat them”.
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