The European Environment Agency’s most recent report, ‘Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2012’, discloses that Europe has seen recording setting high temperatures over the past decade and higher than average temperatures have been seen across Europe.
Some the changes observed include: higher precipitation in the northern regions and lower precipitation in southern regions; snow cover decreasing and most permafrost soils warming up; the Greenland ice sheet is melting; and heat waves, floods and droughts are on the rise.
“Climate change is a reality around the world, and the extent and speed of change is becoming ever more evident,” says Jacqueline McGlade, EEA executive director. “This means that every part of the economy, including households, needs to adapt as well as reduce emissions.”
The report also explains that climate change can impact the socio-economic status of Europe as well:
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Existing socio-economic vulnerabilities may be exacerbated by the impacts of climate change.
There are significant differences in the economic, technical, and institutional capacity to cope with and adapt to climate change across Europe. When impacts of climate change affect regions with low adaptive capacity, the consequences can be severe. An integrated assessment of European regions’ vulnerability to climate change suggests that climate change may negatively affect the territorial cohesion in Europe by deepening existing socio-economic imbalances.