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Europe Facing Warmer Century With More Frequent and Intense Weather Events

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Footprints mark the bank of a partially dried-up pond near downtown DallasScientists from twenty seven leading European Research Institutes conducted a study, which forecasts devastating increase in average temperatures across the old continent in the coming century.

The expected raise of up to 5 degrees Celsius will result in much higher intensity and frequency of extreme weather events such as rainstorms, heatwaves and consequently drought. The findings show that the predictions of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change underestimate the effect of greenhouse gas emissions on our climate.

The findings of the study were partly published in two international scientific journals during the three year course of conducting the weather model simulations, however this week the complete report appeared online and it can be downloaded for free from the website of the European Academies Science Advisory Council.

The team of scientists made predictions based on analysis and simulations performed on data collected over the past 20 years. Using different climate scenarios, the international group was able to establish a much higher range of expected temperature increase, between 1.0 and 5.0 degrees Celsius by 2100, than any other presented to date. To put this numbers in perspective, the IPCC gave a range between 0.5 and 2 degrees C for the same period. These numbers were estimated based on a grid with sampling points located 12 km apart, which is much more detailed than the typically used 100 km spacing.

The report highlights that such drastic increase in temperatures will ultimately result in more intense and more frequent downpours and stronger heatwaves, especially in the central and southern parts of Europe.  The scientists urge for immediate deal on emissions and cuts on the use of fossil fuels, if global warming is to be sustained. There is still time for something to be done, although many are already skeptical about meeting the set targets.

Image (c) Reuters

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