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Map of Europe shaken by climate change at the end of the 21st century

The European Environment Agency has launched an original and complicated exercise, made public in mid-February: foresee the future at the end of the 21st century to imagine what life will be like in Europe, under the effects of climate change: rising sea level, torrential rainfall, episodic droughts, forest fires, etc.


In order to better forewarn the population and challenge the European Commission, the researchers have transformed their model of the changes predicted into maps  by relying on the scenarios of the IPCC. Thus, for each phenomenon a map shows what will happen if measures are taken and applied, while another shows the impacts if nothing is done.


Limiting changes

According to the study, the changes will occur even if efforts regarding greenhouse gas emissions are made on a planetary scale. But these changes will be far less catastrophic if the global temperature increases by less than 2°C.

The sea level should rise by at least 0.2 m, and in the worst-case scenarios, rise by a metre, with serious impacts for ecosystems and human life. Another severe impact: drought will affect southern Europe – 20% of the Iberian Peninsula will be transformed into a desert from now until the end of the century if climate change exceeds 4°C – while the United Kingdom, France and Ireland will also be affected. Also, fires could increase by 40% throughout Europe.







In financial terms, if nothing is done, “it will cost on average €31 billion a year versus €1 billion in 2030, for the continent’s seventeen largest coastal cities*, calculate the experts.

Exposure to climatic risks obviously differs from region to region, but these maps have the merit of emphasising the need to combat climate change to avoid the worst impacts and the key roles played by adaptation and resilience to protect whatever can be saved.

For further information  

*Istanbul, Izmir, Rotterdam, Lisbon, Glasgow, Dublin, Marseille, Barcelona, Hamburg, London, Amsterdam, Porto, Copenhagen, Naples, Athens, Stockholm, Helsinki.

Infographie : Le Monde /  Arcgis


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