Droughts In The Danube River Unearthed An Unsettling Nazi Discovery

Climate change has made an indelible mark on every region of the planet, creating singular circumstances in far-reaching places. At times, climate change has even led to the reveal of archaeological sites. This phenomenon has been known to happen at times due to melting glaciers (via National Geographic), or it can result from devastating droughts as it did this year. The Danube River gave way to an unsettling historic site that has resulted from a drought that stands as Europe's worst within the past 500 years, per ABC News.

With anomalous aridity putting nearly two-thirds of European Union land at risk of drought (via Sky News), the continent is experiencing wildfires, poor electricity production, and a reduction in crops. Sadly, the heat stress has resulted in human displacement and even deaths. During this strife, many of the continent's rivers have lowered water levels; such is the case with the Danube, which is the second longest of Europe's rivers. As the water levels of the powerful river dropped, the Danube revealed an unwelcome surprise when steel and swastikas became visible (via CNBC).

Temperature Change in Europe

The United Nations (UN) reports that the temperature in Europe is rising at a faster rate than the global average. As a result, sea levels will rise faster in most areas, excluding the Baltic Sea. Intense heat was recorded on the continent as weather patterns show fewer snowy winters. Flooding will afflict Northern Europe mostly while fires and droughts will affect the Southern countries — which has economic as well as ecological impacts since agricultural production is expected to decline (via Politico).

Before these facts came to light, Europe experienced a scorching heat wave in 2003, where the temperature hit the higher end of 30 degrees C which resulted in the deaths of approximately 80,000 people, per Politico. EU research has indicated that the 2003 event and this year's record drought will become far more common as time progresses. If the trend keeps up and the temperature rises by 3 degrees C, the areas stricken with drought may double from 13% to 26%, (via Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research).

The Discovery of the Nazy Warships

On top of the detriments associated with Europe's warming issue, the Danube River revealed Nazi warships that still carry tons of ammunition and thus are an explosion risk. The 20 wrecks were uncovered in the Danube near the town of Prahovo in eastern Serbia. The Nazi flotilla was sunk intentionally near the end of World War II in 1944. Today, more of the ships can be examined now, thanks to their increased visibility, as broken decks and twisted hulls stand at attention to onlookers (via Live Science).

These ships were part of a 200-ship fleet in the Black Sea that were sunk in the Danube by Rear Admiral Paul-Willy Zieb of the German Navy. Zieb believed sinking the ships in a zig-zag pattern would slow the pursuit of the Soviets, but his plan ultimately failed and Germany surrendered to the Allies in 1945. However, 77 years later, the ships' artillery still proves formidable as it threatens marine traffic, wildlife, and fishermen (via Live Science). According to  ABC News, the European Union will now fund a salvage operation that involves removing the explosives and destroying the vessels.