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Growing degree days

The growing degree days index represents a measure of the accumulated heat available for vegetation growth. It is calculated as the accumulated sum over the year of the daily mean temperature exceedances of a base threshold (see the ETC-CCA Technical Paper for details). A base temperature of +5 °C is considered as representative for most European crops. Other definitions of the index are possible, including variations of the minimum temperature, the use of an upper temperature threshold, and restrictions to a given growing season.

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Estimated potential loss of water-holding capacity in FUAs caused by sealing in the EU-27 and the UK region during 2012-2018

The map visualizes water holding capacity loss due to the estimated soil sealing increase during 2012 and 2018 in FUAs. Although the figure presents EU27+UK values only, data is available for the EEA-38 region and the UK.

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Maximum consecutive five-day precipitation

The maximum consecutive five-day precipitation index accounts for the greatest precipitation total over five consecutive days in a year.

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Mean temperature

Mean temperature

20 Jan 2022

Mean temperature is a base index representing the average air temperature over different timescales (e.g., seasonal or annual). This index is well covered by data for past, present and future periods from both observations and model simulations.

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Diffuse pollution from agriculture causing poor chemical status in groundwater bodies in the EU-27

The map illustrates groundwater bodies of poor chemical status, affected significantly by diffuse source pollution from agriculture in the EU-27, as reported in national 2016 RBMPs.

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Mean wind speed

Mean wind speed

20 Jan 2022

Mean wind speed is a base index accounting for the average values of wind speed at 10 m height over longer timescales (e.g., seasonal or annual).

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Duration of meteorological droughts

The duration of meteorological droughts represents the average number of months in a year experiencing drought conditions as determined by anomalously low precipitation values. The index is based on the Standardized Precipitation Index aggregated over three months (SPI-3), which accounts for the deficit or surplus of precipitation with respect to a reference period. Alternative aggregation periods for SPI can be used depending on the type of drought considered and the specific applications. SPI values represent standard deviations of precipitation from the long-term mean. A drought event is considered to start when SPI values fall below -1 for at least two consecutive months and to end when the index returns to a positive number (see the ETC-CCA Technical Paper for details).

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Total precipitation year

Total precipitation represents the total amount of precipitation over a given period (e.g., whole year or a season).

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Hot days

Hot days

20 Jan 2022

The hot days index represents the total number of days in a year registering maximum daily temperature above a fixed threshold. 30 °C is here considered as a suitable threshold at pan-European level, but higher thresholds can be considered depending on the regional climate conditions.

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Heating degree days

Heating degree days

20 Jan 2022

The heating degree days index represents a proxy for the use of energy required for heating buildings. It is computed from the outdoor air temperature as the cumulated daily deviation from a base temperature threshold from October to March (see the ETC-CCA Technical Paper for details). The temperature threshold, period and formulation can vary according to the local climate and applications. A base temperature of 15.5 °C is considered here as representative for the pan-European scale and daily minimum, mean and maximum temperature values are used as input variables.

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Extreme precipitation total

The extreme precipitation total index represents the total precipitation on all days with heavy precipitation, defined as exceeding the 99th percentile of daily precipitation over the reference period. Therefore, it accounts for both the frequency and magnitude of unusual precipitation events identified with respect to the baseline conditions. Other implementations of this index may use a different percentile (e.g., 95th) depending on the level of rarity of events to be considered.

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Warmest three-day mean temperature

The warmest three-day mean temperature is the highest daily mean temperature in a year averaged over a three-day window. In variations of this index, the length of the time window over which the moving average of temperature is computed could vary depending on the specific application.

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Cooling degree days

The cooling degree days index represents a proxy for the energy demand for cooling buildings. It is computed from the outdoor air temperature as cumulated daily deviation above a given base temperature threshold from April to September (see the ETC-CCA Technical Paper for details). The temperature threshold, period and formulation of this index can vary according to the local climate and applications. A base temperature of 22 °C is considered here as representative for assessing the energy demand at the pan-European scale and daily minimum, mean and maximum temperature values are used as input ECVs.

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Landscape fragmentation in FUAs in 2018 in the EU-27 and the UK region, by country and FUA structure

Fragmentation is measured as the density of continuous, i.e. unfragmented, semi-natural landscape elements (i.e. meshes). This is calculated by dividing the number of meshes with a unit area, e.g. 1 or 1 000 km². If the landscape is not fragmented, i.e. it consists of a completely continuous landscape, the mesh density is 1. If the number of natural and semi-natural landscape elements in a unit area increases, the landscape becomes more fragmented and the mesh density increases.

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Land take in 2012-2018 in FUAs of the EU-27 and the UK region, as a percentage of the area of artificial surfaces in 2012

Land take is derived from comparing the Urban Atlas 2012 and 2018 datasets of the Copernicus Land Monitoring Service. Land take is expressed as the converted area in % of the 2012 land cover extent (% of non-urban land cover in 2012 that is converted to urban land cover by 2018). The dataset covers the entire EEA-39 region but Figure 2.5 only presents EU-27+UK countries.

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Magnitude of meteorological droughts

The index magnitude of meteorological droughts combines information about the duration and severity of droughts. It is defined as the positive sum of the SPI for all the months within drought events in a given year, thereby giving more weight to months with severe droughts than those with less severe droughts (see the ETC-CCA Technical Paper for details). For consistency with ‘Duration of meteorological droughts’ above, this index is also based on SPI-3 and a threshold of -1 is used to identify drought occurrences. Alternative aggregation periods for SPI can be used depending on the type of drought considered and the specific applications.

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Granularity of Corine Land Cover (left) and Urban Atlas (right) data for Helsinki, Malaga and Varna

The map composition intends to show the different granularity, i.e. spatial resolution, between Corine Land Cover and Urban Atlas datasets, providing three examples in three different cities from different countries.

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