Europe's impacts in infographics:

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Coastal erosion and coastal floods »

When sea level rise accelerates, so will the erosion of rock coast cliffs

Over 50% of global coastlines are rock coasts. Retreat rates of rock coast cliffs will likely accelerate this century, by at least 3–7 times present-day rates at a UK coast, scientists show.

Coastal erosion and coastal floods »

Human interventions in rivers outpace threats from climate change

The impacts of dam building and land-use change on sediment fluxes in rivers outpace the growing threats from climate change, with dramatic consequences for densely populated river deltas.

Coastal erosion and coastal floods »

What high-end sea level rise should we plan for? 1.55 m by 2100, scientists conclude

Experts studied all the available information on sea level rise projections and concluded that 1.55 m sea level rise by 2100 is the plausible high-end estimate we should use for adaptation planning.

Health »

Health at the mercy of fossil fuels

Each year the Lancet, one of the world’s leading medical journals, publishes a report on the global status on health and climate change. Health is still at the mercy of fossil fuels, they conclude.

Forestry and peatlands »

Rewetting our peatlands not only serves the climate

Drained peatlands make up only 3% of the agricultural land in the European Union but emit 25% of the total agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. The advantages of rewetting them are manifold.

Coastal erosion and coastal floods »

Vast majority of people exposed to flooding are too poor to protect themselves

Without adequate flood protection, nearly one in four of the world’s population has at least 1% chance of getting wet feet, or worse, every year. Most of them live in low-income countries.

Previously in ClimateChangePost


On 7-8 December 2022, I will join the National Disasters Expo in Singapore, the world’s leading event for the management and mitigation of natural disasters.

Where land is used for high-intensity agriculture, the joint impact of agriculture and climate warming has reduced insect abundance and species richness by 49% and 27%, global observations show.

The 2021 floods in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands were more than just ‘heavy rain turning into fast-flowing water’, experts conclude. We must adapt a ‘landscape perspective’ to flooding.

By 2100, compared with 2014, average summer in the Northern Hemisphere will last 20% longer under a moderate, and 50% longer under a high-end scenario of climate change.

Warming will be largest both in northern and southern Europe. In northern Europe, in particular the coldest winters will be less cold. In southern Europe, the hottest summers will be much hotter.

Climate change will increase heat stress for cattle. By the end of the century, heat stress could reduce global milk and meat production by between 3.7% and 9.8% of production value in 2005.

For 2050, economic impacts in terms of GDP losses may be up to 3.8 per cent under a low-end, and up to 7.3 per cent under a high-end scenario of climate change.

Half of European territory is now experiencing unusually warm temperatures in the summer compared to 50 years ago. Winter precipitation has increased in the North, drought intensity in the South.

Estimates so far have underestimated global labor loss due to humid heat exposure for outdoor workers. This loss amounts to a global productivity loss of 2.1 trillion USD, 1.7% of global GDP.

Even the 2 °C limit of the Paris Agreement would lead to a median 4.7 m of global mean sea level rise on the long run and threaten land now home to roughly 10% of the global population.

Even if global warming does not exceed the 2 °C limit of the Paris Agreement, the present-day once-a-century extreme sea level will become an annual event along many coastlines by 2100

The average productivity loss in Europe in a high-end climate change scenario is likely to be less than 1% by 2100, and could be much less as societies adapt.

The cooling effect of trees is high in cities in Central and Eastern Europe, and on the British Isles, and much less in Southern Europe, where limited soil moisture availability limits transpiration.

Fine particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometre is a serious health threat because it can enter the lungs. Particles from wildfire smoke are more lethal than other - urban – particles.

So far, substantial warming in two of the world’s top red wine regions has increased average wine quality, but a tipping point in the effect of climate change on wine quality may be nearby.

Ship navigation routes are opening across the Arctic. Summer sea ice extent has been declining for half a century. Opportunities for the economy, maybe not so much for local communities.

The future of the tidal flats of the Wadden Sea, a valuable nature reserve in the Northwest of Europe, depends on the rate of sea-level rise. This rate may increase so fast that the flats will drown.

Slowly moving rainstorms causing flash floods like those in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands in the summer of 2021, may become up to 14 times more frequent in Europe by 2100.

Annual damage of droughts in Europe is now €9 billion per year. Without adaptation, a 3,5 times increase at 2°C global warming is projected in 2100. With adaptation, the impact is much less.

Almost half of the world’s sandy beaches could be gone by the end of the century. A substantial proportion of the threatened sandy shorelines are in densely populated areas.


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