The European Environment Agency (EEA) published their latest assessment of the impact of climate change across Europe. The report entitled “Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2012”, was released this week, indicating higher average temperatures coupled with low precipitation in the southern regions and high precipitation amounts in the northern regions of the continent.
In addition, decrease in thickness of the Arctic sea ice and the Greenland ice sheet, as well as warmed permafrost soils and thinning of the snow cover were pointed out as a consequence of climate change.
The agency warns that damage costs have increased over the past decade due to extreme weather events, floods and drought. They state that although the current list of evidences does not fully attribute all of these trends to climate change, the key factor is the increased human activity in prone to hazard areas.
The message that the report sends urges for fast and effective adaptation of the society to the anticipated frequent and intense extreme weather conditions. If this does not happen, the damage costs are predicted to raise drastically.
The economic situation in some regions of Europe, however, might present a limitation, and the influence of climate change is expected to be more pronounced particularly there. Jacqueline McGlade, EEA Executive Director, urges for immediate actions towards adaptation and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, even on household level.