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Climate change risks rising for Europe – report
January 26, 2017, 8:21 am

Flooding will affect most of Europe, the report says; the Danube reached record levels in Budapest in 2013 [Xinhua]

The European Environment Agency (EEA) warned in a report on Wednesday that all regions of the continent are facing severe meteorological conditions in the years ahead, including rising sea levels, flooding and more extreme weather due to global warming.

It says European nations will face a rise in the frequency and occurrence of heat waves, floods, droughts and storms.

It pays particular attention to European coastal areas and floodplains in western Europe and calls these climate change hotspots, which will likely witness rising sea levels and storm surges.

Southern and south-eastern Europe are also likely to become climate change hotspots, the report warns, as they face extreme heat waves in the 21st Century.

“Climate change will continue for many decades to come. The scale of future climate change and its impacts will depend on the effectiveness of implementing our global agreements to cut greenhouse gas emissions, but also ensuring that we have the right adaptation strategies and policies in place to reduce the risks from current and projected climate extremes,” said Hans Bruyninckx, EEA Executive Director in a press release accompanying the publication of the report.

Meanwhile, 2016 was declared the hottest year on record since measurements were taken in 1880.

According to studies conducted by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) the average global temperatures were 1.78 degrees Fahrenheit (0.99 degrees Celsius) warmer than the mid-20th century mean.

The 2016 temperatures continue a long-term warming trend; scientists say that since 2014 temperatures have been breaking records consecutively.

“Ecosystems and human activities in the Arctic will also be strongly affected owing to the particularly rapid increase in air and sea temperatures and the associated melting of land and sea ice,” the EEA said on Wednesday.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies