Published on November 29th, 2012 | by Leon Harris
The Impact of Climate Change on Europe
For quite some time now, we have been hearing about how the climate changes across the globe are affecting so many different countries on virtually every continent. One of the latest places to capture the attention of both scientists and the media alike would be Europe.
Europe, one of the favorite destinations of tourists year-round, is currently experiencing some detrimental consequences due to the transitions within its atmospheric conditions. As a matter of fact, according to a recent assessment that was issued by the European Environment Agency that featured findings from 50 different authors, Europe is in dire straits due to the melting of glaciers, the shrinking of Greenland’s ice sheets, the decreasing of snow coverings and the warming of its permafrost soil.
A big part of the cause of these conditions is due to the fact that Europe has had a significant increase in temperatures (much higher than average), along with a big decrease in precipitation among the southern regions.
Plus, according to Jacqueline McGlade, the executive director of the European Environment Agency, one of the main things that these results are showing the world is that the climate is not just changing, but it’s doing so at a really rapid pace. Therefore, in order to brace ourselves for what some of those transitions will bring forth, every household on the globe needs to do their proactive part in reducing the amount of emissions that go out into the air.
Just due to things such as heat waves, droughts and floods alone, Europe has found itself dealing with a great increase as it directly relates to damage costs. Also reportedly, the future doesn’t show signs of things improving any time soon. There is actually a lot of data that supports the fact that extreme weather events are only expected to become more intense and severe over the next several years, which will make Europe just that much more vulnerable. Plus, if the societies within Europe do not prepare to make some drastic adjustments, damage costs will only continue to soar as well.
As more and more experts are exploring what is science in the sense of what can be done to alter some of these climate changes, one thing that all of them are certain about is that as the weather becomes more aggressive, it will affect far more than the environment; it will put human lives at risk as well. Already the increase in heat waves have caused thousands of deaths across the continent and over the next few decades, the fatalities in Europe due to even more heat waves that are on its way, are only expected to rise.
Climate changes will also encourage various virus-carrying species to grow including ticks, mosquitos and sandflies. Plus, those who are sensitive to allergies will experience longer pollen seasons (reportedly in Europe, the pollen season is 10 days longer than it was just 50 years ago).
Although these findings do seem bleak, the benefit in having this kind of data is that it prepares individuals to make wiser personal choices as it relates to living a more eco-friendly lifestyle. For more information on The European Climate Adaptation Platform and what you can do to help, visit Climate-Adapt.EEA.Europa.Eu.