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Cli­mate change evi­dent across Europe, con­firm­ing urgent need for adaptation

pub­lished 24 Novem­ber 2012 | mod­i­fied 24 Novem­ber 2012
Mammalian species EU2100Cli­mate change is affect­ing all regions in Europe, caus­ing a wide range of impacts on soci­ety and the envi­ron­ment. Fur­ther impacts are expected in the future, poten­tially caus­ing high dam­age costs, accord­ing to the lat­est assess­ment pub­lished by the Euro­pean Envi­ron­ment Agency (EEA) on Novem­ber 21.

The report, Cli­mate change, impacts and vul­ner­a­bil­ity in Europe 2012 finds that higher aver­age tem­per­a­tures have been observed across Europe as well as decreas­ing pre­cip­i­ta­tion in south­ern regions and increas­ing pre­cip­i­ta­tion in north­ern Europe. The Green­land ice sheet, Arc­tic sea ice and many glac­i­ers across Europe are melt­ing, snow cover has decreased and most per­mafrost soils have warmed.

Cli­mate change is a real­ity around the world, and the extent and speed of change is becom­ing ever more evi­dent. This means that every part of the econ­omy, includ­ing house­holds, needs to adapt as well as reduce emissions
Jacque­line McGlade, EEA Exec­u­tive Direc­tor »

Extreme weather events such as heat waves, floods and droughts have caused ris­ing dam­age costs across Europe in recent years. While more evi­dence is needed to dis­cern the part played by cli­mate change in this trend, grow­ing human activ­ity in hazard-​prone areas has been a key fac­tor. Future cli­mate change is expected to add to this vul­ner­a­bil­ity, as extreme weather events are expected to become more intense and fre­quent. If Euro­pean soci­eties do not adapt, dam­age costs are expected to con­tinue to rise, accord­ing to the report.

Some regions will be less able to adapt to cli­mate change than oth­ers, in part due to eco­nomic dis­par­i­ties across Europe, the report says. The effects of cli­mate change could deepen these inequal­i­ties.

(Source: Euro­pean Envi­ron­ment Agency press release, 21.11.2012)
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