The maps show that Central Europe, the Iberian Peninsula, Scandinavia, Brittany and Venice are among the most sensitive regions of the continent.
18 February 2020 - The European Environment Agency (EEA) has published a series of interactive GIS maps to raise public awareness of climate change impacts on the continent. The maps are part of the Agency’s application “Climate change impacts in Europe”, based on the world-leading ESRI GIS platform.
In a comprehensible way, the application presents how, by the end of the 21st century and even afterward, Europe will be affected by extreme climatic events such as drought, floods, forest fires, sea level rise if global temperature rise is not kept below 2 ° C. The maps in the application are based on different climate models and scenarios for the greenhouse gas levels and give a specific geographical context to the data from the Europe’s most comprehensive environmental assessment for the last 5 years – the report “Environment in Europe – State and Outlook 2020″.
The interactive tools of the GIS maps enable all European governments and citizens to track the current and expected effects of climate change on Europe’s major natural and geographical regions. The maps show that Central Europe, the Iberian Peninsula, Scandinavia, Brittany, and Venice are among the most sensitive regions of the continent. Even with the most optimistic climate change scenarios, many coastal areas, and most of the densely populated parts of northern Europe, are at risk of rising sea levels. Climate change will also lead to more long-lasting and severe droughts in southern Europe as well as an increase in the frequency of forest fires in the central and southern parts of the continent.
Users can also zoom in on the maps to see what the expected climate change impact is for their region, country or city. For example, not only the Netherlands but the east coast of the United Kingdom and the coastal regions of Denmark and Sweden are expected to be heavily affected by rising sea levels. The coasts of southern and western France and northeastern Italy are also at risk. The EEA predicts that, while maintaining high levels of greenhouse gases, the frequency of floods in Venice will increase more than 100 times, and the London neighborhoods Hammersmith and Fulham are expected to be among the major flood risk areas in England by 2071.
According to the climate maps, the Balkans and Bulgaria in particular fall into the zone of significant warming. The expected manifestations of climate change will translate into higher temperatures, milder winters, accompanied by reduced rainfall, increasing risk of droughts and prolonged heatwaves.
According to the European Agency, the GIS application “Climate Change Impact of Europe” with its maps, “stresses the important role of limiting climate change to avoid the worst impacts as well as the key role of adaptation and resilience amid new EU plans under the European Green Deal to present for a new, more ambitious EU adaptation strategy.”
For more than 15 years, the European Environment Agency, along with a number of other European Commission structures, has been using Geographic information systems from Esri to ensure greater efficiency in the analysis and operation of geo-databases and to support informed management decisions at all levels. At the end of last year, the European Commission and ESRI signed a new agreement on the provision of geospatial technologies, allowing the EEA to share environmental data more easily, enabling countries, agencies, scientists and politicians to access and analyze large volumes of Europe climate data.