Several weather-related emergencies have been declared across Europe, including Italy, where deadly floods have followed severe drought in some regions.

A state of emergency has been declared in Bosnia-Herzegovina after torrential rains and floods.

It is one of several European countries affected by extreme weather, either floods, droughts, heat waves or sometimes all three.

In Italy, the floods are the worst in a century cause death, injury and destruction. The northern province of Emilia-Romagna is currently the worst affected region with upwards of 20,000 homes and businesses flooded.

The floods come after a long period of drought which has affected large parts of southern Europe including parts of Spain and Portugal.

This means that the soil has become dry and hard, so when heavy rain falls, instead of being absorbed, the water runs off and causes flash floods.

According to the Hungarian Meteorological Service’s climate expert, Olivér Szentes, these extreme events alone are not necessarily the result of climate change, but they could be.

“We talk about climate change when the distribution of something changes,” he explained. “But it is a long-term process. If we choose a period of heavy rains or a period of dry weather, it is not climate change. If certain phenomena become more common on a sustained basis, we can talk about climate change.”

For example, it has been raining a lot in the Hungarian capital Budapest recently, but the situation is not described as extreme – such downpours are normal.

But many climate observers point to the increasing frequency of heat waves, droughts and floods that they claim are a result of climate change.