Latest update: 19 April 2019

Europe's impacts in infographics:

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Coastal erosion and coastal floods »

Are the world’s sandy shorelines eroding? Not according to the latest data!

In 1985, it was estimated that 70% of the world’s sandy shorelines were eroding. A new assessment, based on 33 years of satellite images, paints quite a different picture.

Climate change »

Strong increase extreme heat events Portugal will have massive impacts

The latest high-resolution climate model projections confirm earlier projections for mainland Portugal: hot days will get much hotter, and heat waves more frequent and extreme.

Forestry and peatlands »

It may take several decades for rewetted agricultural peat soils to show climatic benefits

Rewetting peat soils increases both the accumulation of CO2 and the emission of CH4, a much stronger but short-lived greenhouse gas. It takes time for CO2 storage to dominate over the CH4 effect.

Agriculture and horticulture »

Devastating Bluetongue outbreaks under future climates can be avoided

Future Bluetongue outbreaks in England and Wales may be double the current size by the 2050s. Animal movement restrictions are sufficient to prevent truly devastating outbreaks, however.

Forest fires »

When will wildfires show the fingerprint of global warming?

Wildfires will occur more frequent and will become more severe as a result of global warming. How do we detect the impact of global warming, knowing that many other factors play a role as well?

Insurance and business »

Strong impact of warming permafrost on Russia’s buildings and infrastructure

By mid-century, little over 100 billion USD of buildings, structures and infrastructure in Russia’s permafrost regions will be negatively affected by permafrost changes, a recent assessment shows.

Previously in ClimateChangePost


With global warming more precipitation in the mountains will fall as rain. Snow storage in the winter will decrease, reducing low river flow and fresh water availability in the summer.

Last year, the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency published an assessment of the world’s water challenges. A web-based storyboard of this assessment is now available online.

In the next two decades, river flood risk will increase particularly in China. Losses in China affect other countries as well, through supply chains and trade. The EU is well adjusted for this.

Evaporation cools the earth surface and hence soil moisture is a constraint on heat wave temperatures. Depletion of soil moisture may strongly amplify future heat waves, like the one of 2010.

Current drought trends will grow stronger this century. Drought hotspots in future decades are the Mediterranean, northern and northeastern Scandinavia, southern England, and western Europe.

Most future projections of river flooding focus on vulnerability or exposure, and in direct economic damage. A recent study also presents estimates on numbers of casualties and welfare loss.

The number of people in Europe exposed to temperatures above the historical record in any summer would increase to 11% of the population in a 1.5 °C warmer world and to 20% in a 2 °C warmer world.

Institution of Civil Engineers’ ninth Coastal Management conference will be held in La Rochelle (France) on 24 - 26 September 2019

If we do not upgrade our flood protection standards, Europe’s coastal flood risk may increase up to 75 - 770 times the current risk. Mainly because extreme sea levels are changing.

The likelihood of any September to be completely ice-free by the end of this century at 2 °C global warming is 35%, a recent study shows. If warming is limited to 1.5 °C, this is only a few percent.

More needs to be done to protect the lagoon and the city in addition to the MOSE barrier, experts state. One option: raising the city by injecting fluid cement or water in the city’s subsoil.

Global-scale projections suggest that between 20% and 90% of the present-day coastal wetland area will be lost by 2100. Too dramatic, scientists argue in a recent publication in Nature.

Mean and maximum winter snow depths are decreasing over Europe except for the coldest regions. Over the period 1951-2017 this decrease was little over 10% per decade.

Due to transnational impacts, countries are far more vulnerable than direct impacts suggest. Exposure to climate change impacts in a globalised world turns out bad for The Netherlands.

Scientists are unable to distinguish agricultural impacts occurring with 1.5°C warming from those with 2°C warming. The uncertainties in the impacts of climate, CO2 and trade are simply too large.

Green roofs can be a good option to reduce stormwater runoff to the urban drainage networks. They may not be that effective for long-lasting, extreme rainfall events, however.

Despite a new fire policy, set up in France in 1994 to reduce the likelihood of very large wildfires, these events still occur. Massive fire suppression cannot control all extreme wildfire events.

Good news: until 2100, more carbon will be stored in peatlands globally. Bad news: this will not persist in time. After 2100, carbon loss from peatlands will strengthen climate change.

Technological improvements have increased crop yields. Climate change, however, has slowed down the increasing yield trends compared to the yields we would have had without global warming.

All over Europe, climate change will increase extreme weather impacts on the roads. This increase will accelerate towards the end of this century. As a result, maintenance needs to be adapted.


Europe in a changing climate

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