With the European land surface warming rapidly, rainfall patterns changing and sea levels rising ever faster, southern Europe will suffer most from climate change. But there is an urgent need for countries across the continent to adapt to change, according to the European Environment Agency (EEA).
Temperatures are already 1.3C above the pre-industrial average and are expected to go on rising. This brings gains to some countries in northern Europe, with higher crop yields and lower heating costs, while the south loses.
It is the countries currently struggling most at the moment economically, Greece, Spain and Portugal, that will fare worst under climate change. The EEA says all three countries will lose both harvests and tourists, two of their main economic props, as a result of rising heat and low summer rainfall.
Northern Europe does not escape unscathed. River flooding is already a problem and annual sea level rise, which has already doubled in the last 20 years, and is currently at 3 mm a year, is expected to rise further. All the countries around the North Sea are now vulnerable to storm surges.
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