Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Europe’s Cities Face a Hotter Century

British scientists have just issued a detailed hazard forecast for Europe’s cities, for increasing floods, droughts and heatwaves.

Athens is one European capital at greatest risk from both heat extremes and drought. (Image Credit: LennieZ, via Wikimedia Commons) Click to Enlarge.
Europe’s cities are about to bake.  The worst-case scenario for ever-hotter temperatures now suggests that later this century the Austrian city of Innsbruck – for example – could be subjected to heatwaves 14°C hotter than any in the past.

Altogether more than 400 cities could under such circumstances expect heatwaves at least 10°C hotter than any today.  Droughts in Europe could be 14 times worse than any droughts experienced today.

And some of Europe’s rivers could experience peak flows 80% higher than any today, which means ever-greater flood hazards, in particular for north-west European cities.

Three Europeans out of four live in cities.  By 2050 this proportion will be even higher:  82% will have moved to urban centers.

Researchers report in the journal Environmental Research Letters that they examined the trends for all 571 cities in Europe’s urban audit database and simulated the outcome of a range of climate predictions.

Read more at Europe’s Cities Face a Hotter Century

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