News in Digest: No disputing the story of the summer

Cucumber season was unnecessary this year as the weather kept on delivering plenty of news

The recent rain and DMI’s promise we won’t have any more 25 degree-plus days has probably ruined this summer’s chances of being the driest ever. But it has already had the warmest ever May, the hottest June since 1992 and the sunniest ever July.

It can’t begrudge legendary 1976, an epic summer whose shadow many of us have grown up in, holding onto just one of its records.

And in all seriousness, Denmark has had more pressing concerns.

Death and drought
According to the State Serum Institute, there have been 250 more deaths than normal due to the weather. The elderly, infants, the weak and chronically-ill people are the most vulnerable.

The situation has been deemed so serious that the national emergency crisis staff, National Operativ Stab (NOST), has been assembled.

The nation’s farmers are on their knees. They can’t properly feed their animals, and most of their crops are ruined. Since August 1, their animals have been able to graze on fallow fields, but the damage is done. The overall bill will run into billions of kroner.

And the timber industry is struggling, not only with wildfires, but with dying trees. Some 2.5 million Christmas trees planted in the spring are at death’s door, along with 5 million newly-planted trees (in the spring and last autumn) – at a total loss of 100 million kroner.

Across air, land and sea
Other woes might seem more trivial. For example, hotels have received a record number of complaints from guests about the lack of air conditioning in their rooms.

Danish consumers face record electricity bills due to the mass usage of electric fans – up an estimated 66 percent on last year, but that’s the price of staying cool. Most retailers sold out of fans early in the summer.

Bathers have had to contend with all manner of irritants, from rats and in one case a poisonous snake, to a blue-green algae that causes unsightly rashes, and a lake-residing parasite that literally get under your skin.

The airwaves have been clogged up with ten times as many wasps as normal, and the less said about the toxic oak processionary moth caterpillars sighted on Bornholm, the better! Avoid at all cost!

And as well as the bans on open fires, candles in cemeteries have been outlawed.

Not all bad news
It’s not been all gloom and doom, though. Solar power is understandably having a good year.

There have been far fewer ticks, although experts warn that they are most likely hiding in the ground, waiting until the inevitable late-summer rain arrives.

A bee not sighted since 1937 has turned up. ‘Dasypoda suripes’, which is more commonly known by the Danes as the ‘golden trouser bee’, has been found on the island of Samsø.

But more often than not, new arrivals are invasive species, whether it’s the brush-clawed shore crab, the Asian shore crab, or Tetramorium immigrans, an ant from southern Europe that likes entering homes and damaging plants.