Severe and Persistent Droughts in Europe

Severe and Persistent Droughts in Europe

By the end of this century, droughts in Europe are expected to be more frequent and intense due to climate change and increased water use, according to a new study. By 2100, Europe’s entire Mediterranean seaboard will be confronted annually with extreme droughts, coastal floods or heatwaves, said the study, published in the journal Climatic Changes. Some hotspots will be hit every year by two or more such formerly one-in-hundred-year hazards, which also include wildfires, river floods and windstorms, the researchers found.

The cost of drought over the past three decades has amounted to over 100 billion euros. In study, the researchers wanted to find out if and where in Europe increasing temperatures and intensive water consumption could make future droughts more severe and long-lasting.

The projections were based on climate models which assume Earth’s surface temperatures will rise by about two degrees Celsius above the pre-Industrial Era benchmark by mid-century. This is roughly half-way between the most optimistic and most pessimistic scenarios for how quickly humanity will be able to curb the greenhouse gases driving dangerous global warming. The world’s first global climate pact forged in Paris and signed by more than 170 countries calls for capping temperatures at “well below 2 C”. But scientists say that at current rates of fossil fuel consumption, Earth may be on track for an increase of 4 C, or higher.

Milica Momcilovic

Milica Momcilovic is science journalist, TV author and anchor at the Radio Television Serbia which promotes national public purposes. She hold’s position of editor in Science Program and also writes science articles for Politika the oldest daily newspaper in Serbia. As a journalist in TV and print media, she has developed a special interest in establishing partnerships with scientists and their institutes as one of the models for successful reporting on science and mutual capacity building.

A voice from the Triangulation through Science Communication project.