Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2016
Publication Created 11 Feb 2016 Published 25 Jan 2017
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EEA Report No 1/2017
This report is an indicator-based assessment of past and projected climate change and its impacts on ecosystems and society. It also looks at society’s vulnerability to these impacts and at the development of adaptation policies and the underlying knowledge base. This is the fourth ‘Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe’ report, which is published every four years. This edition aims to support the implementation and review process of the 2013 EU Adaptation Strategy, which is foreseen for 2018, and the development of national and transnational adaptation strategies and plans.
Decline in ocean pH measured at the Aloha station A decline in pH corresponds to an increase in the acidity of ocean water. Data originate from the Aloha station pH time series. Changes here are similar to those that are observed at a shorter time scale in Europe.
Trend in snow cover extent over the Northern Hemisphere and in Europe This figure shows satellite-derived time series of snow cover extent for the period 1967–2015 over the Northern Hemisphere (left) and Europe (right). The time series for the Northern Hemisphere is extended back to 1922 by including reconstructed historical estimates.
Cumulative specific net mass balance of European glaciers The figure shows the cumulative specific net mass balance of selected European glaciers, i.e. the change in glacier mass since the first year of their assessment. The start of the time series varies between glaciers.
Arctic sea ice extent This chart shows trend lines and observation points for March (the month of sea ice extent maximum) and September (the month of sea ice extent minimum) have been indicated.
Annual projected changes in temperature and precipitation for northern Europe and southern Europe and for two time periods
Projected changes in Northern Hemisphere September sea ice extent Changes in Northern Hemisphere September sea ice extent as simulated by CMIP5 models over the 21st century under different emission scenarios (RCPs). Sea ice extent is defined as the total ocean area where sea ice concentration exceeds 15% and is calculated on the original model grids. The solid curves show the 5-year running mean mean under the emission scenarios RCP2.6 (blue) and RCP8.5 (red) based on those models that most closely reproduce the climatological mean state and 1979 to 2012 trend of the Arctic sea ice and the shading denotes the uncertainty range. The mean and associated uncertainties averaged over 2081−2100 are given for all RCP scenarios as colored vertical bars. For completeness, the CMIP5 multi-model mean for RCP2.6 and RCP8.5 is indicated with dotted lines. The dashed line represents nearly ice-free conditions. Adapted from Figure SPM7(b) in the Working Group I contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report.
Trends in annual (a) and summer (b) precipitation across Europe between 1960 and 2015 Grid boxes outlined in solid black contain at least three stations and so are likely to be more representative of the grid box. Significant (at the 5% level) long-term trend is shown by a black dot .
Projected multi-hazard exposure for the 2020s, 2050s and 2080s The map is based on gridded data and shows the results of a multi-hazard assessment, considering the following seven hazards: heat waves, cold waves, droughts, wildfires, river floods, coastal floods and windstorms. The maps shows by how many hazards each grid cell is projected to be affected.
Key observed and projected climate change and impacts for the main regions in Europe The map shows the observed and projected climate change and impacts for the main biogeographical regions in Europe
Farming systems from SEAMLESS project The map shows the farming systems in Europe and location of MASCUR regional pilot studies based on the NUTS level 1.
Projected impacts of climate change on electricity production from different sources in four European regions This map shows the projected impacts of climate change on electricity production from four different sources in four European regions. Green denotes positive impacts whereas red denotes negative impacts.
Aggregated cross-sectoral vulnerability in the 2050s from an ecosystem service perspective The map is based on gridded data and shows multi-sectoral vulnerability from an ecosystem service assessment perspective.
Current estimation of and projected changes in coping capacity of European regions This map shows current and projected estimates of the capacity of regions to cope with climate change impacts for two different time horizons (2020 and 2050) and for different scenarios based on the CLIMSAVE project.
Annual number of nights of thermal discomfort The map shows that southern cities can experience daytime conditions that represent slight to moderate heat stress at the very least. Many southern cities have also a high share of elderly people. The map does not yet show future projections of thermal discomfort in cities, although it is expected that discomfort in more northern cities will increase.
Urban areas at risk of river flooding In many parts of Europe, the risk of river flooding is expected to increase; in north-eastern Europe, the probability of floods is expected to fall. Further to climate exposure, the placement of many new urban areas and the accumulation of assets in low-lying areas close to rivers has intensified the sensitivity to river floods. The map shows the low-lying urban areas potentially threatened by river flooding in a one-in-a-century flood event, both for the current period and in the projected future. However, the map does not take into account eventual future changes in urban land-take, nor any adaptation measures like flood defences or flood retention that may lower the risk.
Transport vulnerability studies in EEA countries The map provides a simple overview which EEA member countries have conducted detailed studies, general studies or no studies on the vulnerability of the transport sector to climate change.
Macro Regions in Europe and Arctic Polygons have been created for the CCIV-2016 report. The polygons have no clear definition and should not be regarded as defined legal boundaries.
Projected changes in the frequency of adverse weather events relevant for transport across Europe The map base are the climatic regions in Europe. The map considers 6 extreme weather events and their probability of occurrence in future (2050 and beyond), and their probability of impacting on transport infrastructure (3 threshold levels: 33%, 66%, 99%).
Projected changes in global average surface temperature and precipitation Hatching indicates regions where the multi- model mean signal is less than 1 standard deviation of internal variability. Stippling indicates regions where the multi- model mean signal is greater than 2 standard deviations of internal variability and where 90% of models agree on the sign of change.
Locations of stations with temperature and precipitation data Stations available in the European Climate Assessment and Datasets (ECA&D) (with different lengths of records) for daily mean temperature and daily precipitation amount. Green dots represent downloadable data and red dots present station used in addition in gridded products.
Largest European trade import flows and global climate change vulnerability The map shows the estimated climate vulnerability, and the EU imports from outside the EU (largest import countries only)
Trends in annual and summer precipitation across Europe between 1960 and 2015 Grid boxes outlined in solid black contain at least three stations and so are likely to be more representative of the grid box. A black dot indicates that the long-term trend is significant at the 5% level. The classes for annual and summer precipitation differ (by factor 4) because annual precipitation covers 12 months whereas summer precipitation covers 3 months only.
Observed annual median and trend of the Mean Potential Hail Index (PHI) over the period 1951-2010 Based on the logistic hail model (Mohr, Kunz, and Geyer, 2015) and reanalysis data from NCEP-NCAR (Kalnay, et al., 1996). Trends with significance below the 5% level are cross-hatched. Note that significant trends are only found for values below -5 PHI over the period.
Observed trends in maximum annual five-day consecutive precipitation in winter and summer Grid boxes outlined in solid black contain at least three stations and so are likely to be more representative of the grid box. Significant (at the 5% level) long-term trend is shown by a black dot.
Trends in summer soil moisture in Europe Soil moisture content was modelled using a soil moisture balance model in the upper soil horizons (up to 1 m).
Current and projected risk of vibriosis infections in the Baltic Sea region The left panel shows a risk model map during summer 2006 and the number of cases in countries reporting infections. The right panel shows a projection of the risk of infection in 2050.
Trend in asbolute sea level across Europe based on satellite measurements Spatial distribution of mean sea level trend in European Seas (1992–2014).
Change in the frequency of flooding events under projected sea level rise This map shows the estimated multiplication factor, by which the frequency of flooding events of a given height changes between 2010 and 2100 due to projected regional sea relative level rise under the RCP4.5 scenario. Values larger than 1 indicate an increase in flooding frequency
Projected change in 20 year return level minimum flow and deficit volumes due to climate change and changes in water use Differences between the end of the 21st century (SRES A1B scenario) and the control period (1961-1990) for minimum discharges (left) and change in occurrence of deficits (right) for climate change only (top row) and a combination of climate change and water use (bottom row).
Model-based estimate of past change in summer low flows This map shows the ensemble mean trend in summer low flow from 1963 to 2000. ‘x’ denotes grid cells where less than three- quarters of the hydrological models agree on the direction of the trend.
Trend in heating and cooling degree days (1981-2014) This map shows observed linear trends in heating degree days (left) and cooling degree days (right) over 1981–2014 for all EEA member and cooperating countries. Stippling depicts regions where the trend is statistically significant at the 5% level.
Projected change in the frequency of meteorological droughts The maps show changes in the frequency of meteorological droughts for two future periods (2041-2070, left and 2071-2100, right) and for two emissions scenarios (RCP4.5, top and RCP8.5, bottom). Drought frequency is defined as the number of months in a 30 year period with the Standardised Precipitation Index accumulated over a 6 month period (SPI-6) having a value below -2.
Observed trends in frequency and severity of meteorological droughts Trends in frequency (upper) and severity (lower) of meteorological droughts between 1950 and 2012. Trends are based on a combination of three different drought indices - SPI, SPEI and RDI accumulated over 12-month periods. Dots: trends significant at ≥ 95%.
Projected annual rate of change of the crop water deficit of grain maize during the growing season in Europe for the period 2015-2045 for two climate scenarios. Projected annual rate of change of the crop water deficit of grain maize during the growing season in Europe for the period 2015-2045 for two climate scenarios. The crop water deficit is the difference between the crop-specific water requirement (in this case grain maize) and the water available through precipitation. The climate forcing of the two simulations is based on the two global climate models HadGEM2 and MIROC, taken from CMIP5 and bias-corrected by the ISI-MIP project (Warszawski et al., 2014). Crop model simulations have been done with the crop model WOFOST at 25 km resolution. Red colours show an increase of the gap between crop water requirement and water availability, blue colours indicate a reduction of the deficit. Areas where the seasonal crop water requirement exceeds regularly (i.e. in more than 90 % of the years) the water available through precipitation have been marked by hatches. Areas without hatches experience both deficit and surplus or only a surplus of water. In this case, red colours refer to a reduced surplus, while blue colours indicate an increasing surplus of water.
Projected change in mean water-limited yield of winter wheat by 2030 Simulated change in mean water-limited crop yield of winter wheat between the baseline period around year 2000 and 2030. The four simulations are a combination of two climate models (HadGEM2 and MIROC, taken from CMIP5 archive and bias-corrected by the ISI-MIP project), and the crop model WOFOST at 25 km spatial resolution, with and without taking into account the effect of CO2 fertilization. Crop variety and agro-management practice have been kept constant. For each time horizon of 2000 and 2030, a 30-year averaging period has been considered. Red colours show a reduction in winter wheat yield, while green colours indicate an increase in crop productivity in the given period as a response to the climate signal of each climate scenario (Araujo Enciso et al., 2014).
Probability of the occurrence of adverse agroclimatic conditions for wheat under baseline and projected climate This map compares the probability that at least one out of 11 types of adverse agroclimatic conditions occurs between sowing and majority of wheat (medium-ripening cultivar) under baseline climate (1981, black bar) and projected climate (2060, colored box). Red boxes indicate that at least 14 out of the 16 CMIP5 models show an increased probability of adverse conditions, and orange boxes indicate that at least 9 out of 16 models show an increased probability.
Trend in flowering date of winter wheat This figure shows the rate of change of the flowering date for winter wheat. The annual rate of change of the flowering date represents the trend coefficient for long-term changes in the occurrence of flowering of winter wheat in Europe. For example, a value -0.6 indicates that in last 30 years the winter wheat flowering date has been anticipated on average by 0.6 days per year (6 days in 10 years). The flowering date is derived from crop growth models simulating crop development of winter wheat as a function of the temperature sum. The simulation is based on the JRC-MARS gridded meteorological data at 25 km resolution.
Trend in crop water deficit of grain maize during the growing season Annual rate of change of the crop water deficit of grain maize during the growing season for the period 1985-2014 in Europe. The crop water deficit is the difference between the crop-specific water requirement (in this case grain maize) and available water through precipitation. The simulation is based on the JRC-MARS gridded meteorological data at 25 km resolution. Red colours show an increase of the gap between crop water requirement and the available water, blue colours indicate a reduction of the deficit. Areas where the seasonal crop water requirement exceeds regularly (i.e. in more than 90 % of the years) the available water (through precipitation) have been marked by hatches. Areas without hatches experience both deficit and surplus or only a surplus of water in their crop water balance. In this case, red colours refer to a reduced surplus, while blue colours indicate an increasing surplus of available water.
Current distribution of West Nile Virus infections Districts with probable and confirmed cases of West Nile infections
Associations between temperature and mortality in four European cities Exposure-response associations between temperature and mortality in four European cities, together with related temperatures distributions. The shaded grey area delineates the 95 % empirical confidence interval. Solid grey vertical lines are minimum mortality temperatures and dashed grey vertical lines delineate the 2.5th and 97.5th percentile temperatures.
Known distribution of the tiger mosquito in Europe (Aedes albopictus) The maps displays information and the presence/absence of Aedes albopictus. RED: An established population (evidence of reproduction and overwintering) of the species has been observed in at least one municipality within the administrative unit. YELLOW: The species has been introduced (but without confirmed establishment) in the administrative unit within the last 5 years of the distribution status date DARK GREEN: Field surveys or studies on mosquitoes were conducted and no introduction (during the last 5 years) or no established population of the species have been reported MEDIUM GREY: No data for the last 5 years are available to local experts LIGHT GREY: No information is available about field studies on mosquitoes during the last 5 years.
Projected change in the climatic suitability for Chikungunya transmission The maps shows the risk for Chikungunya transmission in Europe generated by combining temperature requirements of the Chikungunya virus with the climatic suitability of the vector Aedes albopictus. Projections for different time-frames are based on projections by the regional climate model COSMO-CLM for two emission scenarios (A1B, a medium scenario and B1, a low scenario). The "current situation" refers to the 1960-1990 baseline climate.
Current European distribution of Ixodus ricinus ticks The maps displays information and the prsence/absence of Ixodes ricinus RED The species is known to have been present at least in one municipality within the administrative unit. YELLOW The species has been introduced in the administrative unit without confirmed establishment. LIGHT GREY No information is available on the existence of field studies on ticks.
Deaths related to flooding in Europe This map shows the number of deaths related to flooding per million inhabitants (cumulative over the period 1991–2015, with respect to 2015 population).
Projected changes in climatic suitability for broadleaf and needleleaf trees The two panels indicate to what degree broadleaf (left panel) and needleleaf (right panel) tree species are expected to increase (blue) or decrease (brown) in numbers. The results represent species distribution modelling, using climate projections from six regional climate models using the A1B scenario of future emissions.
Current and projected state and trend of fire danger Forest fire danger is expressed by the average Seasonal Severity Rating index (derived from the Canadian Fire Weather Index System). Average 2071-2100 SSR levels are shown in the map. The SSR series was computed usign the GCM-RCM run KNMI-RACMO2-ECHAM5 of ENSEMBLES project.
Projected change in Bumblebee climatically suitable areas The map shows the projected change in the climatic suitable area for the Bumblebee Bombus terrestris (the largest and one of the most numerous bumblebee species in Europe) under the combined climate-land use scenario SEDG (Sustainable European Development Goal, including SRES B1) and GRAS (including SRES A2).
Projected change in seasonal streamflow for twelve rivers This figure shows the projected change in seasonal streamflow (averaged over seven days) for twelve rivers.
Model-based estimate of past change in annual river flows The pronounced dipole pattern found for the annual flow trends appears to reflect the wetting trend pattern of the winter period (ca. December to April) in the north and northwest and the widespread drying trend pattern from late winter to late summer (ca. February–August) in southern and parts of eastern Europe
Projected change in river floods with a return period of 100 years 100-year daily peak flow (Q100). Relative change for the time slices 2006-2035, 2036-2065 and 2066–2095 compared to the ensemble mean of the baseline (1976–2005), based on an ensemble of EURO-CORDEX RCP8.5 scenarios. Data points with CV>1 are greyed out. (CV = coefficient of variation)
Distribution of oxygen-depleted 'dead zones' in European seas Circles depict scientifically reported accounts of eutrophication-associated dead zones. The area covered by 'dead zones' is not presented, as such information is not generally available.
Development of oxygen depletion in the Baltic Sea over time Spatial distribution of bottom hypoxia and anoxia in 1906 (left), 1955 (centre) and 2012 (right). Estimated bottom oxygen concentrations below 2 mg per litre are shown in red; black depicts the absence of oxygen. The spatial distribution represents means across all months.
Trend in the number of frost-free days The annual rate of change of frost-free days represents the trend coefficient for long-term changes in the annual number of days with a minimum daily temperature above 0 °C. For example, a value of 1 indicates that the number of frost-free days has increased on average by 1 day per year in last 30 years (period 1985-2014). The analysis is based on the JRC-MARS gridded meteorological data at 25 km resolution.
Observed trends in warm days across Europe between 1960 and 2015 How to read the map: Warm days are defined as being above the 90th percentile of the daily maximum temperature. Grid boxes outlined in solid black contain at least three stations and so are likely to be more representative of the grid box. A significant (at the 5 % level) long-term trend is shown by a black dot
Trends in annual temperature across Europe between 1960 and 2015 Grid boxes outlined in solid black contain at least three stations and so are likely to be more representative of the grid box. A significant (at the 5 % level) long-term trend is shown by a black dot.
Number of extreme heat waves in future climates under two different climate forcing scenarios The top maps show the median of the number of heat waves in a multi-model ensemble of the near future (2020–2052) and the latter half of the century (2068–2100) under the RCP4.5 scenario, and the lower maps are for the same time periods but under RCP8.5
Projected change in summer soil moisture Changes are presented as mean multi-model change between 1961-1990 and 2021-2050 using 12 Regional Climate Models (RCMs); with red indicating drier and blue indicating wetter conditions.
Projected changes in heavy precipitation in winter and summer Projected changes in heavy precipitation (in %) in winter and summer from 1971-2000 to 2071–2100 for the RCP8.5 scenario based on the ensemble mean of different regional climate models (RCMs) nested in different general circulation models (GCMs).
Projected changes in annual, summer and winter temperature Projected changes in annual (left), summer (middle) and winter (right) near-surface air temperature (°C) in the period 2071-2100, compared to the baseline period 1971-2000 for the forcing scenarios RCP 4.5 (top) and RCP 8.5 (bottom). Model simulations are based on the multi-model ensemble average of RCM simulations from the EURO-CORDEX initiative.
Projected change in relative sea level The map shows the projected change in relative sea level in 2081-2100 compared to 1986-2005 for the medium-low emission scenario RCP4.5 based on an ensemble of CMIP5 climate models. Projections consider land movement due to glacial isostatic adjustment but not land subsidence due to human activities. No projections are available for the Black Sea.
Projected change in annual and summer precipitation Projected changes in annual (left) and summer (right) precipitation (%) in the period 2071-2100 compared to the baseline period 1971-2000 for the forcing scenario RCP 8.5. Model simulations are based on the multi-model ensemble average of RCM simulations from the EURO-CORDEX initiative.
Projected changes in the tourism climatic index for all seasons Tourism Climatic Index (TCI) for four seasons in the present period (1961–1990, left), under future climate change (2071–2100, middle), and change between present and future period (left). Future climate conditions are based on the SRES A2 scenario and derived from the ensemble mean of five regional climate models (RCMs) that participated in the PRUDENCE project.
Climatic suitability for the mosquitos Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus in Europe This figure shows the climatic suitability for the mosquitos Aedes aegypti (left) and Aedes albopictus (right) in Europe. Darker to lighter green indicates conditions not suitable for the vector whereas yellow to red colours indicate conditions that are increasingly suitable for the vector. Grey indicates that no prediction is possible.
Projected changes in water-limited crop yield This map provides an aggregated picture of expected changes in crop yields across Europe for the 2050s (compared with 1961–1990). The simulations by the ClimateCrop model are based on an ensemble of 12 GCMs under the A1B emission scenario. They include effects of changes in temperature, precipitation and CO2 concentration on crop yields of three main crops assuming current irrigated area.
European variations in the temporal trend of bird and butterfly community temperature index The map shows the temporal trend of bird and butterfly CTI for each country. A temporal increase in CTI directly reflects that the species assemblage of the site is increasingly composed of individuals belonging to species dependent on higher temperature. The height of a given arrow is proportional to the temporal trend and its direction corresponds to the sign of the slope (from south to north for positive slopes). The arrow is opaque if the trend is significant.
Projected changes in extreme wind speed based on GCM and RCM ensembles Ensemble mean of changes in extreme wind speed (defined as the 98th percentile of daily maximum wind speed) for A1B (2071–2100) relative to 1961–2000. Left: based on 9 GCMs. Right: based on 11 RCMs. Coloured areas indicate the magnitude of change (unit: m/s), statistical significance above 0.95 is shown by black dots.
Monitoring, reporting and evaluation systems for adaptation in Europe This map is derived from a combination of verified output of EEA's 2014 self-assessment survey (i.e. countries assessing themselves on the basis of a questionnaire; EEA, 2014) and update by member countries as of mid-October 2015. This map shows in green the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
Urban areas at risk of forest fire The map provides an overview of the extent of urban areas at higher risk of being directly affected by forest fires (burning down) under current conditions.
Multi-sectoral hotspots of climate impacts under a 2 degree warming The maps (based on gridded data) show the projected multi-sectoral climate impacts under a 2 degree warming. Considered in the analysis are the following sectors: water, agriculture, ecosystems and human health.
Vulnerability of forests in the Carpathian region Map represents relative vulnerability of Carpathians forests to climate change evaluated in the frame of geomorphologic units on the basis of several indicators of climatic exposure, forest climatic sensitivity and social- economic adaptive capacity.
News and articles
Climate change poses increasingly severe risks for ecosystems, human health and the economy in Europe Europe’s regions are facing rising sea levels and more extreme weather, such as more frequent and more intense heatwaves, flooding, droughts and storms due to climate change, according to a European Environment Agency report published today. The report assesses the latest trends and projections on climate change and its impacts across Europe and finds that better and more flexible adaptation strategies, policies and measures will be crucial to lessen these impacts.
Climate change impacts in Europe The observed changes in climate are already having wide-ranging impacts on ecosystems, the economy and on human health and well-being in Europe. New records continue to be set on global and European temperatures, sea levels and reduced sea ice in the Arctic. Precipitation patterns are changing, generally making wet regions in Europe wetter and dry regions drier. Glacier volume and snow cover are decreasing. At the same time, climate-related extremes such as heat waves, heavy precipitation and droughts, are increasing in frequency and intensity in many regions. Improved climate projections provide further evidence that climate-related extremes will increase in many European regions.
Map 5.20 CCIV 68123-Projected changes in the frequency of adverse weather events_v6.eps The map base are the climatic regions in Europe. The map considers 6 extreme weather events and their probability of occurrence in future (2050 and beyond), and their probability of impacting on transport infrastructure (3 threshold levels: 33%, 66%, 99%).
Map 6.6 CCIV 73505_Macro-Regions-in-Europe_and_Arctic.eps Polygons has been created for the CCIV-2016 report. The polygons has no clear definition and should not be regarded as defined legal boundaries.
Map 6.3 CCIV 68146-Projected multi-hazard_v2.eps The map is based on gridded data and shows the results of a multi-hazard assessment, considering the following seven hazards: heat waves, cold waves, droughts, wildfires, river floods, coastal floods and windstorms. The maps shows by how many hazards each grid cell is projected to be affected.
Map 3.7 CCIV 50521-Observed trends in annual and summer precipitation_v3.eps Grid boxes outlined in solid black contain at least three stations and so are likely to be more representative of the grid box. Significant (at the 5% level) long-term trend is shown by a black dot (. (In the map above, this is the case for all grid boxes). The graph below shows average annual air temperatures over Iberian Peninsula and Scandinavia, respectively.
Map 4.3 CCIV 50644-Trend-in-absolute-sea-level-V5.eps Horizontal spatial distribution of mean sea level trend in European Seas (January 1993- December 2014)
Geographic coverageAustria , Belgium , Bulgaria , Croatia , Cyprus , Czech Republic , Denmark , Estonia , Finland , France , Germany , Greece , Hungary , Iceland , Ireland , Italy , Latvia , Liechtenstein , Lithuania , Luxembourg , Malta , Netherlands , Norway , Poland , Portugal , Romania , Slovakia , Slovenia , Spain , Sweden , Switzerland , Turkey , United Kingdom
For references, please go to http://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/climate-change-impacts-and-vulnerability-2016 or scan the QR code.
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