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Climate Change

Climate Change report predicts more rain and more drought by 2050

The European Environment Agency predicts that Europe will be 1.5° warmer, on average, in the period 2021-2050 and 3° warmer in the period 2071 to 2100, compared with temperatures between 1960-1990.

Average Changes in Temperature

This is according to the regional climate projections from the ENSEMBLES project. The greatest regional warming is projected to occur over eastern Scandinavia, and southern and south-eastern Europe, with all areas of the continent warming by between 0.4° C and 2.5° C.

For the period, 2071-2100, the models predict that Europe will be on average 3 °C warmer than 1960- 1990. In north eastern Scandinavia the temperature change could be up to 6° C higher than the reference period, while the Mediterranean basin and parts of Eastern Europe will also see much bigger changes than elsewhere. All areas are expected to see average annual temperatures at least 1.5° C warmer than the reference period.

The higher temperatures will lead to an increase in the number of heat waves and droughts, with correspondingly significant impacts on water supply, agriculture production and human health.

Annual changes in rainfall

The annual rainfall projections show a clear split over Europe. In northern regions models project an increase of up to 15% and in southern/ Mediterranean regions a decrease of up to 15%.

For the period 2021-2050 the projections show winter precipitation will increase all over Europe, while summer precipitation will decrease. Both of these trends are more pronounced in the maps showing projections for the period 2071-2100.

The North, with increasing precipitation can expect more flood events and the South, more frequent and longer lasting droughts, having significant effects on agriculture and tourism industries, especially in the Mediterranean area.

In some Mediterranean countries, agriculture is extremely water-intensive, accounting for up to 80% of water use. Many countries will need to adapt their agricultural systems to deal with less water, or water at different times of year.

The climate change data behind the maps comes from 25 different Regional Climate models, run in the frame of the ENSEMBLES project, under A1B emission scenario. The scenario assumes rapid economic growth, a global population that grows to 9 billion in 2050 and then gradually declines.

The EEA and the European Commission have recently launched Climate-ADAPT, a web resource aimed at helping policy makers and 'practitioners' – engineers, planners and administrators –to learn from the experience of others facing similar challenges who already carrying out adaptation actions elsewhere. The maps form part of a wealth of information in the Climate-ADAPT resource. A 22 metre rise in sea levels

That is what has been sugested by reasearch published the the journal, Geology and a study by the Stockholme Environment Institute

Even if humankind manages to limit global warming to 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F), as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommends, future generations will have to deal with sea levels 12 to 22 metres (40 to 70 feet) higher than at present, according to research published in the journal Geology.

The researchers, led by Kenneth G. Miller, professor of earth and planetary sciences in the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University, reached their conclusion by studying rock and soil cores in Virginia, Eniwetok Atoll in the Pacific and New Zealand. They looked at the late Pliocene epoch, 2.7 million to 3.2 million years

ago, the last time the carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere was at its current level, and

atmospheric temperatures were 2 degrees C higher than they are now.

“The difference in water volume released is the equivalent of melting the entire Greenland and West Antarctic Ice Sheets, as well as some of the marine margin of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet,” said H. Richard Lane, program director of the National Science Foundation’s Division of Earth Sciences, which funded the work. “Such a rise of the modern oceans would swamp the world’s coasts and affect as much as 70 percent of the world’s population.”

Professor Miller said that

A cost of $2 Trillion per year? Climate change damage to oceans could cost $2 trillion per year

A new study coordinated by the Stockholm Environment Institute shows climate change alone could reduce the economic value of key ocean services by up to $2 trillion a year by 2100. The study, Valuing the Ocean, is the work of an international, multi-

disciplinary team of experts, including SEI researchers. The full report is due to be published as a peer- reviewed book later this year; a preliminary

Executive Summary is being released to inform

preparations for the Rio+20 Earth Summit in June. A key part of the study is a groundbreaking analysis on ocean economics, designed to quantify the costs of ocean degradation, which are often invisible in the cost-benefit analyses that guide policy. The analysis calculates the cost over the next 50 and 100 years respectively in terms of five categories of lost ocean value (fisheries, tourism, sea-level rise, storms, and the ocean carbon sink) under high- and low- emissions scenarios.

By 2100, the annual cost of the damages from ‘business as usual’ emissions,

projected to lead to an average temperature rise of 4°C, is estimated to be 1.98 trillion USD, equivalent to 0.37 per cent of future global GDP. A rapid

emission reduction pathway that limited temperatures increases to 2.2°C would ‘save’ (i.e. avoid) almost $1.4 trillion of those damages.

Frank Ackerman, director of the Climate Economics Group at SEI-US, commented:

“These figures are just part of the story, but they provide an indication of the price of the avoidable portion of future environmental damage on the ocean – in effect the distance between our hopes and our fears. The cost of inaction increases greatly with time, a factor which must be fully recognised in climate change accounting.”

A key point made in the report is that the

convergence of multiple stressors – acidification, ocean warming, hypoxia, sea-level rise, pollution, and overuse of marine resources – could lead to damages far greater than just from individual threats.

The study does not put a monetary value on the total projected damages, many of which involve “priceless” losses such as the

eradication of species, but it argues that given how much is already known about the potential costs, world leaders should take a precautionary approach and take strong action to protect oceans, even in the absence of complete economic data.

“We must develop an integrated view of how our actions impact the ocean, and threaten the vital services it provides, from food to tourism to storm protection,” says Kevin Noone, Director of the Swedish Secretariat for Environmental Earth System Sciences at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and co-editor of the report.

“The global ocean is a major contributor to national economies, and a key player in the earth’s unfolding story of global environmental change, yet is chronically neglected in existing economic and climate change strategies at national and global levels.”


the research highlights the sensitivity of the earth’s great ice sheets to temperature change, suggesting that even a modest rise in temperature results in a large sea-level rise. “The natural state of the earth with present carbon dioxide levels is one with sea levels about 20 metres higher than at present,” he said. Professor Miller said the current trajectory for the 21st century global rise of sea level is 2 to 3 feet (0.8 to1 metre) due to warming of the oceans, partial melting of mountain glaciers, and partial melting of Greenland and Antarctica. Although sea levels won't get as high as depicted for a long time, the Rutgers scientists say a substantial rise is inevitable,

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