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Europe's impacts in infographics:

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Energy »

The loss of glaciers creates opportunities for water storage and hydropower

When glaciers shrink or disappear, the emerging ice-free basins provide opportunities for building dams to store water and generate electricity through hydropower.

Fishery »

The ‘perfect storm’ of climate change impacts on both agriculture and marine fisheries

Simultaneous climate change impacts on agriculture and marine fisheries will affect tropical countries the most. They are most dependent on these food sectors but have the lowest capacity to adapt.

Forestry and peatlands »

Thawing Arctic permafrost may have unexpected and far-reaching impacts

When permafrost thaws deeper into the soil, soil moisture can change rapidly. The wide range of effects includes less stable infrastructure, changing flood risk, and higher wildfire risk.

Forestry and peatlands »

Peatlands, a growing net source of greenhouse gasses since 1960

Drainage of peatlands has transformed large areas from former sinks into net sources of greenhouse gasses. Most of these peatlands need to be rehabilitated to stop global warming at +2 °C.

Flash floods and urban flooding »

Not climate change but population growth is increasing flood risk at Spanish Mediterranean coast

From north to south along the Spanish coastline, flood cases are more severe and damaging. The number of flood cases increases in the opposite direction. Halfway, near Málaga, flood risk is highest.

River floods »

Annual maximum river flow is changing across Europe, probably due to climate change

River discharge observations across Europe for the period 1960-2010 show that annual maximum peak flow has increased in northwestern Europe, and decreased in southern and eastern Europe.

Previously in ClimateChangePost

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The elevation of densely populated coastal zones appears to be much lower than has been assumed so far. The global impacts of sea-level rise will likely be far greater than studies so far have shown.

A proper look at flood risk shows that annual flood losses in Central Europe have not increased significantly over the past four decades if the effect of economic development is eliminated.

The time per year that the inhabitants of Athens are exposed to conditions of extreme heat stress has increased since 1960. Extreme heat stress now occurs both earlier and later in the year.

How can businesses transform to a circular economy, reduce their carbon footprints, and adapt to climate change? A summary of valuable experiences of the speakers at this summit on sustainability.

Negative effects of climate change on wheat yields can be avoided by using earlier flowering cultivars. Advanced grain filling reduces the risk of exposure to enhanced drought and heat stresses.

Even though the number of hazards and the number of people exposed to them has increased, hazard vulnerability has dropped strongly. Clearly, investing in protection and resilience pays off.

By the end of this century, far more temperature records will be set under a high-end than under a low-end scenario of climate change, and far more of these records will be ‘smashing’.

In the period 1998 to 2016, the intertidal flats in the German Wadden Sea have accreted with rates ranging from 4 to 22 mm/year, strongly exceeding the observed recent mean sea-level rise.

Measurements of thawing permafrost in Alaska showed a loss of soil carbon in the upper 55 cm of 5.4% per year, indicating much faster release of carbon dioxide and methane than previously thought.

According to experienced climate and conflict experts, the role of climate in conflicts to date is small compared to other drivers of conflict. Climate change will amplify conflict risk, however.

A high occurrence of positive temperature anomalies in the lead-up of slope failures in the Italian Alps supports the hypothesis that climate warming is destabilizing slopes at high-elevation sites.

Where hot extremes have increased by 0.33 °C per decade from 1950 to 2018, the trend for cold extremes is 0.49 °C per decade. A 50% difference!

Screening on the 6th September in London: This film discusses concerns of New York citizens about the future with the hot August weather as a starting point.

Weather disasters have increased in number and intensity in recent decades. Damage caused by extreme weather events has been on the rise. In terms of casualties the 2003 and 2010 heat waves stand out.

This week, a wind turbine almost as high as the Eiffel Tower will be assembled at the Dutch coast. On a windy day, this turbine can produce enough electricity to supply 16,000 houses.

Unprecedented mass mortality events, reported in previous summers and resulting from prolonged periods of high sea surface temperatures, seem to become the new standard already by 2050.

Biodiversity of plants and animals on earth will change. At 2 °C global warming, terrestrial ecosystems could lose on average 14% of their current local species, and 22% at 4 °C.

Both heat stress and ozone increase mortality, and both are affected by climate change. While the total health burden of ozone will decrease by 2050, heat-related mortality will strongly increase.

River flood risk to European railways, €581 million per year in recent decades, could increase substantially: by up to 310% under a 3 °C warming scenario, according to recent estimates.

When the Mediterranean Sea warms up, hurricanes in the area are likely to become more vigorous. Their winds will be stronger, and they will lead to more intense precipitation, increasing flood risk.

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Europe in a changing climate

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