Climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in Europe

Publication Created 24 Jul 2017 Published 17 Oct 2017
1 min read
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Enhancing coherence of the knowledge base, policies and practices. The report assesses current practices and level of know-how, and highlights emerging innovative tools national, regional and local authorities are using to tackle the impacts of weather- and climate-related hazards.
Downloading: PDF document icon Climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in Europe.pdf — PDF document, 48.59 MB (50952610 bytes)
Publication Created 24 Jul 2017 Published 17 Oct 2017
1 min read
EEA Report No 15/2017
Enhancing coherence of the knowledge base, policies and practices. The report assesses current practices and level of know-how, and highlights emerging innovative tools national, regional and local authorities are using to tackle the impacts of weather- and climate-related hazards.

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    : 978-92-9213-893-6
    : TH-AL-17-012-EN-C
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    Global and European temperature Global and European temperature According to three different observational records of global average annual near-surface (land and ocean) temperature, the last decade (2006–2015) was 0.83 to 0.89 °C warmer than the pre-industrial average, which makes it the warmest decade on record. Of the 16 warmest years on record, 15 have occurred since 2000. The year 2015 was the warmest on record, around 1 °C warmer than the pre-industrial level, followed by 2014. The average annual temperature for the European land area for the last decade (2006–2015) was around 1.5 °C above the pre-industrial level, which makes it the warmest decade on record. Moreover, 2014 and 2015 were jointly the warmest years in Europe since instrumental records began. Climate models project further increases in global average temperature over the 21st century (for the period 2081–2100 relative to 1986–2005) of between 0.3 and 1.7 °C for the lowest emissions scenario (RCP2.6) and between 2.6 and 4.8 °C for the highest emissions scenario (RCP8.5). All UNFCCC member countries have agreed on the long-term goal of keeping the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 °C compared with pre-industrial levels and have agreed to aim to limit the increase to 1.5 °C. For the three highest of the four RCPs, global average temperature increase is projected to exceed 2 °C compared with pre-industrial levels by 2050. Annual average land temperature over Europe is projected to increase by the end of this century (2071–2100 relative to 1971–2000) in the range of 1 to 4.5 °C under RCP4.5 and 2.5 to 5.5 °C under RCP8.5, which is more than the projected global average increase. The strongest warming is projected across north-eastern Europe and Scandinavia in winter and southern Europe in summer. The number of warm days (those exceeding the 90th percentile threshold of a baseline period) have almost doubled since 1960 across the European land area. Europe has experienced several extreme heat waves since 2000 (2003, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2014 and 2015). Under a high emissions scenario (RCP8.5), very extreme heat waves as strong as these or even stronger are projected to occur as often as every two years in the second half of the 21st century. The impacts will be particularly strong in southern Europe.
    Use of freshwater resources Use of freshwater resources While water is generally abundant in Europe, water scarcity and droughts continue to affect some water basins in particular seasons. The Mediterranean region and most of the densely populated river basins in different parts of Europe are hot spots for water stress conditions. During winter, some 30 million inhabitants live under water stress conditions, while the figure for summer is 70 million. This corresponds to 6 % and 14 % of the total population of Europe respectively. Around 20 % of total the population of the Mediterranean region live under permanent water stress conditions. More than half (53 %) of the Mediterranean population is effected by water stress during the summer.   At 46 % and 35 % respectively, rivers and groundwater resources provide more than 80 % of the total water demand in Europe.  Agriculture accounts for 36 % of total water use on an annual scale. In summer, this increases to about 60 %. Agriculture in the Mediterranean region alone accounts for almost 75 % of total water use for agriculture in Europe. Public water supply is second to agriculture, accounting for 32 % of total water use. This puts pressure on renewable water resources, particularly in high population density areas with no water coming from upstream.  Service sector has become one of the main pressures on renewable water resources, accounting for 11 % of total annual water use. Small Mediterranean islands in particular are under severe water stress conditions due to receiving 10-15 times more tourists than they have local inhabitants. 

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