A recent report states that, for Europe, heat and flooding in addition to agricultural losses and water scarcity will be major climate impacts. And while European awareness of global warming motivates policymakers to do more, scientists say the ambition and execution of solutions vary greatly from country to country.
A report by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was released on Monday. The panel’s periodic assessments inform policymaker decisions about how to prevent the planet from warming beyond the 1.1 degrees Celsius already gained since industrial times.
Extreme heat, floods, and droughts will lead to widespread disruption of the economy, including damage to infrastructure and energy supplies, the need for more air conditioning, and greater water demand, the report warned.
As warming rises faster in Europe than the global mean, panelists paint a picture of a continent divided in two: an increasingly arid south, struggling with desertification and competing for scarcer water, and a north adopting a more traditional Mediterranean climate that could provide some increased crop yields and forest growth, but with risks of its own.