After a heat wave, the water volume of the Thames decreases and the beginning of the river moves 8 km

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The starting point of the famous River Thames has dried up and moved downhill after weeks of little rain and a heat wave in July that set the UK temperature record.

The Thames usually begins in the city of Cirencester, part of the green, hilly countryside of the Cotswolds, and flows through the capital, London, into the North Sea.

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The start of the river has moved 8 kilometers downstream to Somerford Keynes, according to the Rivers Trust, which operates across the UK and Ireland. The flow there is weak and barely visible.

“What we are seeing at the source of the iconic River Thames is sadly emblematic of the situation we are facing across the country, now and in the future,” Christine Colvin, Director of Advocacy and Engagement at the Rivers Trust, said in a statement sent to CNN.

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The “source” refers to the beginning, or headwaters, of a river.

“While it is not uncommon for the source to be dry in the summer, seeing the river flowing 8 km downstream is unprecedented,” she said. “The climate crisis is leading, and will lead, to more extreme weather, including droughts and heat waves. This poses a serious threat to rivers and, as a result, to the wider landscape.”

She added that the country needed to build resilience against the future climate.

“This means detecting domestic leaks, fixing network infrastructure leaks, more efficient use of water domestically, as well as implementing sustainable drainage solutions as part of desperately needed green infrastructure,” Colvin said.

The change in the river’s headwaters comes as officials in England warn that the nation could officially fall into drought sometime in August.

The south of England recorded its driest July since 1836, with just 17% of average rainfall, according to the Met office. The country as a whole recorded just 35% (about 23 millimeters) of its average rainfall in July.

Several water companies have already announced a ban on hose pipes in parts of southern England.

The UK Met Office has warned that high temperatures will return to England next week, although they are not expected to come close to the records seen in July.

He said in a statement that an area of ​​high pressure was building up from the Atlantic to the south and southwest of England, and that temperatures could hit an average of 30 degrees Celsius by the end of next week.

“We could see parts of the UK going into heatwave conditions if above-average temperatures lasted three days or more,” said Met Office head of forecasting Steve Willington. “As the high pressure builds up, there is very little significant rain in the forecast, especially in the southern areas of England which have experienced very dry conditions over the past month.”

Rebekah Sherwin, chief meteorologist at the Met Office, said the sun in early August in the UK did not have the same warming potential as in mid-July because the sun is lower in the sky and the days are shorter.

“Both factors suggest that temperatures are very unlikely to rise much above 30 degrees,” she said. “However, that would still be a hot period of time.”

In continental Europe, some countries, including France, are experiencing their third summer heat wave and pockets of the continent are in drought.

Source: CNN Brasil

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