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Tourism »

How the Swiss continue winter sport in times of climate change

The retreat of the Aletsch Glacier is destabilising the slopes of its valley flanks, causing subsidence of a mountain ridge. But the innovative Swiss have found a way to continue skiing safely here.

Fresh water resources »

Global trends in groundwater levels: good news and bad news

Rapid groundwater decline has accelerated over the past four decades in 30% of the world’s aquifers. Fortunately, part of the aquifers is showing recovery thanks to effective measures.

Flash floods and urban flooding »

Half of the annual precipitation falls in fewer and fewer days

In many parts of Europe half of the annual precipitation falls in 22–34 days, and this number has reduced by at least two days in 40% of Europe’s land area since 1950, especially in the south.

Salt intrusion »

Extreme salt intrusion into European estuaries will become increasingly common this century

As a result of much lower river discharge in the summer, salt water will intrude further inland into the estuaries, adversely affecting those who depend on fresh water.

Health »

Twenty years after the deadly heat of 2003, Europe’s heat response is still ineffective

Since 2003, when heat caused 70,000 deaths, heat-related mortality has been a major concern in Europe. Over 60,000 heat-related deaths in 2022 illustrate that heat response is still ineffective.

River floods »

Room for the river, the exception rather than the rule

We are losing more natural floodplain area each year, globally, than half a century ago. Relative land use change was largest in Europe, almost 10% of all floodplain areas since the early 1990s.

Previously in ClimateChangePost

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Ireland will experience more frequent and extreme droughts. The summer of 2018 illustrates its vulnerability to drought impacts: losses in cereal yields and water tankers to meet demand.

Storm surges contribute to extreme sea levels and, therefore, to the risk of coastal flooding. In Europe, storm surge is projected to decrease in the Mediterranean and increase along the North Sea.

Climate change outpaces the abilities of tree species to migrate north. Forest ecosystem services, including recreation and providing food, medicine and wood for construction, will decline.

The summer of 2022 was Europe’s hottest since 2003. A study for Switzerland shows that 60% of the people that died from heat that summer would not have died in the absence of global warming.

A book that changes the way you look at the daily rollercoaster of alarming news of the impacts of climate change, and makes you want to act yourself.

Hot exposure, the population exposed to unprecedented heat worldwide, increases 5-fold under 2.7 °C – the projected result of current policies – compared with the 1.5 °C target of the Paris Agreement.

By 2100, over 3 billion people worldwide may live in urban areas with high humid heat stress, more than three times the current situation. Planting trees may not be effective in mitigating this.

Trans-Arctic shipping will be relatively risky until about 2045, because of fast ice formation and sea ice ridging. But new routes across the Arctic will open in due course, perhaps as early as 2070.

Water storage areas that reduce river flood peaks are economically the most attractive option to adapt the river system to the changing climate, scientists conclude.

Migration in response to climate change is not an option for an increasing number of poor people. They lack the financial means to move and are the ‘trapped population’.

There is a clear, negative effect of wildfires in Southern Europe on regional economy, an analysis of data over the period 2010-2018 shows. The impact on employment seems to be small, though.

At melting glaciers, lakes are being formed where meltwater gets trapped behind debris or ice dams. Floods caused by outbursts of ice-dammed lakes have become less extreme over the past 120 years.

Mainly exposure and to a lesser extent climate change are increasing flood risk by hundreds of percent this century. Measures reducing vulnerability can counterbalance this risk by only 15%.

The ‘Geography of Future Water Challenges’, a new book on the many water challenges around the globe, to be launched at the UN Water Conference, is now available online.

The summer of 2020 was the warmest in four decades. According to satellite data, burned area was sevenfold larger in 2020 than the 1982–2020 average. The link to climate change is clear.

Increased extreme precipitation in recent decades has increased river floods globally. Previous studies failed to detect this because mixing catchments with different flood types blurred the results.

The combination of global changes in crop yields, cropping frequency and cropland area determines the impact of climate change on global agricultural production, and all of them will decrease.

Even if global temperatures rise by no more than 1.5°C, around 104,000 glaciers will disappear by 2100. At least half of those will vanish by 2050.

In several coastal cities, land subsidence is much faster than the IPCC reported in its latest assessment, data for 48 coastal cities, representing 20% of the global urban population, shows.

Past economic losses by extreme weather events are not due to climate change. But ‘the times they are a changing‘. Today, many events do show a climate change fingerprint in loss and damage.

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Europe in a changing climate

All about climate change, vulnerabilities, impacts and adaption: click on a country or choose from the list below

Latest world-wide news on climate change and adaptation

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