Hunger Stone

Hunger Stone : The recent droughts in Europe once again made visible the “Hunger Stones” in some Czech and German rivers. These stones were used to mark desperately low river levels that would forecast famines.

One such stone is on the banks of the Elbe River, which begins in the Czech Republic and flows through Germany. The boulder dates back to 1616 and is etched with a warning in German: “Wenn du mich seehst, dann weine” — “If you see me, then weep,” according to a Google translation of the phrase.

“Before 1900, the following droughts are commemorated on the stone: 1417, 1616, 1707, 1746, 1790, 1800, 1811, 1830, 1842, 1868, 1892, and 1893.”

Thanks, UrsaRodinia

8 thoughts on “Hunger Stone

  1. Cassandra says:

    “Europe’s rivers run dry as scientists warn drought could be worst in 500 years
    Crops, power plants, barge traffic, industry and fish populations devastated by parched waterways” https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/aug/13/europes-rivers-run-dry-as-scientists-warn-drought-could-be-worst-in-500-years
    “In places, the Loire can now be crossed on foot; France’s longest river has never flowed so slowly. The Rhine is fast becoming impassable to barge traffic. In Italy, the Po is 2 metres lower than normal, crippling crops. Serbia is dredging the Danube.
    Across Europe, drought is reducing once-mighty rivers to trickles, with potentially dramatic consequences for industry, freight, energy and food production – just as supply shortages and price rises due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine bite.”

  2. p/s says:

    Factories in China’s southwest have shut down after reservoirs used to generate hydropower ran low in a worsening drought, adding to economic strains at a time when President Xi Jinping is trying to extend his position in power.
    Companies in Sichuan province – including makers of solar panels, cement and urea [for fertilizer] – closed or reduced production after they were ordered to ration power for up to five days, according to news reports Wednesday.
    Areas across central and northern China ordered emergency measures to ensure drinking water supplies after summer rain was as little as half normal levels. The official Xinhua News Agency said fire trucks had carried water to two dry villages near Chongqing in the southwest.
    Hundreds of thousands of hectares of crops across central and northern China have wilted due to lack of water and high temperatures, according to the government. Some areas have declared the summer growing season a failure. https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2022/8/17/chinese-factories-close-as-drought-hits-hydropower
    China population in 2022 is estimated to be 1.42 Billion

  3. Fore & Aft says:

    “The lowest water levels in the Mississippi River in a decade, caused by a severe Midwest drought, have closed the vital channel to barge traffic at a crucial time of the year for the transport of crops from the nation’s heartland.
    The Army Corps of Engineers has been dredging portions of the river for the past week in an attempt to deepen channels and get barge traffic moving again. But the closures have caused a massive tie-up in the nation’s already struggling supply chains.
    As of Friday, the Coast Guard reports that there are 144 vessels and 2,253 barges queued up and waiting to get through two stretches of the river where traffic has been halted – one near Memphis, the other just north of Vicksburg, Mississippi. While the Coast Guard statement said it hopes to resume traffic again as soon as late Friday, it couldn’t say for certain when that would happen.
    Even when barges start moving once again, they’ll be forced to carry as much as 20% less cargo than normal in order to not ride too deep in the water. And rather than a single vessel moving between 30 to 40 barges at one time as they normally do, they’ve been forced to move no more than 25 barges on each trip due to the more narrow channels.
    The combination of fewer barges per trip, and less cargo per barge, has cut the capacity of barges moving on the river by about 50% even before the recent river closures, said Mike Seyfert, CEO of the National Grain and Feed Association. And that has sent the rates that shippers are paying soaring.” https://www.cnn.com/2022/10/07/business/mississippi-river-closures-grounded-barges-drought-climate/index.html
    Near-freezing temperatures forecast later this week show that the end of the season is quickly approaching with river traffic in stretches of Minnesota and Iowa likely soon halted until March or so. A note on American Commercial Barge Line’s website shows the final loading dates from the Gulf to Dubuque, Iowa, and points north is Oct. 10, and for St. Louis Oct. 24.

    • VOR says:

      “The Mississippi River isn’t out of the woods as falling water levels along its major tributaries threaten to deepen a crisis on the US’s main artery for moving vital products.
      While one bottleneck may have been eliminated on the Mississippi near Stack Island, additional pressure points are emerging along its more than 2,000 miles as the river falls into low stage, according to the National Weather Service. In Memphis, it has dropped nearly 2 feet since Saturday and is forecast to fall another 2 feet by Oct. 25, which would tie it for the third lowest on record. And now the Ohio River — which provides about 60% of the Lower Mississippi River’s water — is seeing closures at multiple locations due to groundings and dredging work.
      …The punishing drought plaguing the Mississippi River is only the latest example of the extreme weather brought on by climate change that is impacting trade and raising costs at a time when inflation is already soaring.
      Climate conditions have meteorologists warning that lower water levels will persist, crippling trade for weeks to come. Across the US, 98 river gauges have fallen below the low water threshold, and most of those are on the Mississippi or its tributaries, according to the weather service.” https://gcaptain.com/barge-shipping-whack-a-mole-closures-on-ohio-river-as-mississippi-bottleneck-improves/

  4. Cassandra says:

    How the forest dies : The Amazon is going dry. In one parched corner, a desperate wait for water is only just beginning. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/interactive/2022/amazon-brazil-tipping-point/
    For years, scientists have been warning that the Amazon is speeding toward a tipping point — the moment when deforestation and global warming would trigger an irreversible cascade of climatic forces, killing large swaths of what remained. If somewhere between 20 and 25 percent of the forest were lost, models suggested, much of the Amazon would perish.
    About 18 percent of the rainforest is now gone, and the evidence increasingly supports the warnings. Whether or not the tipping point has arrived — and some scientists think it has — the Amazon is beginning to collapse.

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