New! Europe's climate change impacts in infographics. The first set of presentations now online. Check out below! Latest update: 16 January 2019

Europe's impacts in infographics:

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Coastal erosion and coastal floods »

The future of our coastal wetlands may not be that dramatic

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.

Climate change »

Winter snow depths in Europe are decreasing, except for the coldest regions

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.

Security and crisis management »

New perspectives on the global distribution of climate risk. The Netherlands stands out!

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.

Agriculture and horticulture »

Is 1.5°C better or worse than 2°C warming in terms of agricultural impacts? We don’t know!

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.

Flash floods and urban flooding »

Do green roofs mitigate stormwater runoff in urban areas?

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.

Forest fires »

A new generation of wildfires characterized by extreme behavior

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.

Previously in ClimateChangePost


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.

+1.5° to +2°C global warming, the Paris targets, will impact crop yields and food prices. The impact of a mitigation policy where croplands are being used for bioenergy crops may be stronger, however.

Food security and environmental goals can be achieved in tandem. A major increase of global food production is possible by expanding irrigation sustainably into currently cultivated areas.

If we succeed in limiting global warming to well below 2 °C, we may prevent large increases in heat-related mortality across the globe.

In the northern UK, drier summers may lead to more frequent flash flooding, affecting soil erosion, agriculture, and stream water quality. While mean precipitation decreases, extremes will increase.

If we succeed in stabilizing global warming at 1.5 °C or 2.0 °C, the frequency of the current 1-in-100 year flow shifts to once in 70-90 years or once in 50 years, respectively, in most of the world.

Proactive adaptation is an opportunity to effectively adapt our cultural heritage to climate change risks. One of the barriers, however, is how to deal with the uncertainties of things to come.

We can learn from the past to see what lies ahead. Vegetation changes since the last ice age show that vegetation composition and structure is at substantial risk of major changes in the near future.

An assessment shows that most World Heritage sites in low-lying coastal areas of the Mediterranean are at risk from coastal flooding or erosion, already today. Sea-level rise will make things worse.

Global warming will change the tree species composition of European forests towards trees that store less carbon. This may turn these forests into a carbon source and thus reinforce global warming.

Crop yield losses to insect pests will increase globally with rising temperatures. Compared with the past, these losses increase by tens of percent for wheat, rice and maize crop at 2°C global warming

Burned area over Mediterranean Europe may increase by 40-54% under 1.5°C global warming. Higher levels of global warming increase drought conditions that in turn lead to larger burned areas.

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.

Climate change may not affect annual discharge volumes that much. It may, however, significantly change a river’s discharge characteristics. This impacts droughts and floods.

Integrated strategies are needed to increase food production, focusing on both higher irrigation efficiency and higher crop yields of rain-fed cropland, whilst preserving valuable water resources.

Landslides are responsible for ca. 14% of all casualties from natural hazards, on a global scale. Human activities may be more detrimental to future landslide incidence than climate change.

Will more intense heat waves increase mortality in Europe? Not necessarily. Data on temperature-related mortality in Stockholm, Sweden, show a decline of heat-related mortality over the last 100 years

What will be the impact of global warming on coastal flood risk if we do succeed in restricting warming at 2°C, following the Paris Agreement? Still high, unless we keep on raising the dikes.


Europe in a changing climate

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