European climate change to hit Scandinavia and south hardest
Global warming in Europe this century will mostly affect Scandinavia and the Mediterranean basin, the European Environment Agency warned on Thursday.
"The highest warming is projected over the eastern Scandinavia, and southern and south-eastern Europe," experts at the agency said in comment accompanying a series of maps posted on the agency's website.
Europe will be on average 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer between 2021 and 2050 than the 1960-1990 reference period, the agency said.
However moderate the increase may seem, "it is important to note that these are average annual temperatures, potentially masking large extremes," it said.
In northeastern Scandinavia, the temperature change could be as much as 6.0 degrees higher by 2071 than the reference period, while the Mediterranean basin and parts of Eastern Europe will also see big changes.
Higher temperatures and dwindling rainfall "will have significant effects on agriculture and tourism industries, especially in the Mediterranean area," the agency said.
"Agriculture is extremely water-intensive in some Mediterranean countries, accounting for up to 80 percent of water use," it noted.
The agency stressed however that the world could still slow the pace of climate change by rapidly cutting emissions through "replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy technologies".
(c) 2012 AFP