Monday, February 10, 2020

Mapping Climate Change in Europe

Many coastal regions in Europe are in danger from rising sea levels - even under the most optimistic climate change models. It isn't just rising sea levels that Europe has to worry about. Climate change will also lead to longer and more frequent severe droughts in southern Europe, increasing and more severe forest fires in western-central Europe and southern Europe and an increase in the likelihood of flash floods across much of Europe.

The European Environment Agency has released a series of interactive maps visualizing how Europe could be affected by climate change. Climate Change Impacts in Europe includes a number of individual maps which show the impact of droughts, flooding, forest fires and rising sea levels under different climate change models.

In northern Europe many densely populated areas are in danger from rising sea levels. The EEA estimate that coastal flooding events will increase by more than a factor of 10 in many European locations. It isn't just the Netherlands, the eastern coast of the UK and the coastal regions of Denmark and Sweden which could be affected by rising sea levels. The coasts of southern & western France and north-east Italy are also under threat.

The EEA's Climate Change Impacts in Europe looks in more detail at the effects of climate change on  a small number of individual regions and cities in Europe. Venice is one city which is likely to witness increasing traumatic climate events in this century. In November 2019 more than 85 % of Venice was flooded. The EEA predicts that under a high emissions scenario the frequency of coastal flooding events in Venice will increase by more than 100.

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