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Climate change »

The future of clean air: Are agreements effective?

The European Union and the U.K. have established optimistic plans and goals for cleaning the air. Let’s explore the intent of some policies and how they look years after inception.

Climate change »

We can cool our cities much more than we currently do

A study for 100 cities spread across Europe shows that the potential for extra cooling from more greening and less pavement almost equals the cooling that is already there in the current city layout.

Energy »

From now on, fossil fuel use for electricity generation will decrease

Among all the doom stories about climate change, there is also a glimmer of hope. We seem to have reached a turning point in the use of fossil fuel for electricity generation.

Climate change »

We will fail to achieve the Paris climate agreement, IPCC experts say

Almost 80% of the IPCC experts who responded to a survey by the Guardian think global temperature rise will exceed 2 degrees C compared to pre-industrial levels.

Fresh water resources »

Droughts, not floods, are the biggest challenge in the Alps

Global warming will have much more impact on droughts than on floods in the Alps. Simulated changes in flood magnitude are negligible whereas droughts will become more intense and last longer.

Insurance and business »

Climate change is already having an impact on our incomes

Without global warming, global income between now and 2050 would be a fifth higher. By 2050, the economic impact of climate change equates to a global income loss of $38 trillion per year.

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Phoenix, the fifth largest city of the US and the nation’s hottest, has established the country’s first office of heat response and mitigation. Its main instrument: trees!

The Atlantic Ocean is extremely warm for this time of year. This warmth provides the energy for hurricanes, the number of which could double this summer compared to a normal year, experts warn.

The geography of wine production is changing. Due to excessive drought and more frequent heatwaves, most traditional wine regions in Spain, Italy and Greece are at risk of disappearing by 2100.

All over Europe, since 1950, the frequency, duration and intensity of heatwaves have increased. In the last two decades, these changes were most dramatic for northwest and central Europe.

In August 2022, the largest hailstones ever documented in Spain injured 67 people and killed one. For the first time, a giant‐hail event has been attributed to human‐induced climate change.

In US coastal cities, many more people and their homes will be at risk of coastal flooding in the coming decades than is often thought. Land subsidence is often neglected in urban planning.

A scientific panel responsible for delineating the past 2.6 million years of geologic history decided that the “Age of Humans” should not be defined as a new geological epoch.

Over the last five decades, floods have become less deadly. The global number of flood events has increased over time, but the average number of people killed and affected per event has decreased.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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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