Europe could be up to 9 degrees Fahrenheit warmer by 2100, according to new research.
The research, which was conducted by 27 institutions and published this week in two scientific journals, found that by the end of the century, Europe could see average temperatures rise by 1 to 5 degrees Celsius, or 1.8 to 9.0 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s warmer than the IPCC’s most recent prediction of 0.3 to 4.8 degrees Celsius of average global warming by century’s end.
The research also predicts an increase in heatwaves in south and central Europe and intense rainfall and droughts in Europe overall. That prediction is in line with previous research on extreme weather and climate change and is also in line with some of the extreme weather Europe has dealt with over the last decade. This summer, in the midst of a heatwave that baked much of Europe, Austria set an all-time high temperature record after one town hit 104.9 degrees F. And in 2003, a major heatwave caused 70,000 deaths in Europe.
Another recent report from the European Academies Science Advisory Council found that over the last 30 years, Europe has experienced a 60 percent increase in damage costs of extreme weather events. And in October, a report from the Norwegian Meteorological Institute noted that extreme weather is “increasing in frequency and intensity within Europe” and made predictions of increasing droughts, extreme rainfall events, and heatwaves that backed up the most recent research.
These predictions of increasing extreme weather in Europe come as another study finds several cities in Europe are unprepared for climate change’s effects. The Columbia University study found that, out of 200 European cities analyzed, 72 percent had no plan dedicated to finding ways of adapting to climate change. The percentage of cities with a mitigation plan, however, was higher — 65 percent — which the researchers said could be a precursor to adopting an adaptation plan.
“It looks like that for the regular city, the path of development is you adopt a mitigation plan, you start with an adaptation plan and then you get into putting those plans into practice,” lead researcher Diana Reckien said. “It’s true that there is a lack of adaptation and adaptation engagement.”
Radley Horton, a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said he thought the situation was similar in American cities.