The Impacts and Costs of Climate Change Page: 7
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The Impacts and Costs of Climate Change
Change in state of environment Examples of projected impacts Quantified impact
Future Glacier retreat * The ongoing retreat of glaciers will * By 2050, about 75 % of the
Very likely that the glacier retreat will adversely affect summer skiing in glaciers in the Swiss Alps are
continue. glacier regions and therefore reduce likely to have disappeared.
tourism and its economic benefits in
these regions (Blrki et al., 2003).
* Furthermore, it might have adverse
impacts on regional water resources.
European precipitation future trends * Amplified changes in annual river * By 2070, river discharge is
Average (land and ocean) precipitation is discharge- increase in all parts of expected to decrease by up to
projected to increase by 2-7 % between northern and north Eastern Europe. 50% in southern and SE Europe,
1990 and 2100 (IPCC, 2001a). * Decreased river discharge in southern and to increase by up to 50% or
Projections for Europe: and south Eastern Europe. more in most parts of northern
* more annual precipitation for and NE Europe.
northern Europe (increase of 1-2 % * As a result, stress on water
per decade) resources may continue to grow
* Winter - Europe is likely to become significantly in southern Europe.
wetter (1-4 % per decade, exc
* Summer- Northern Europe wetter
(up to 2 % per decade)
European precipitation future trends * Severe impacts on agriculture and * Reduced crop yield in hotter and
Summer - Southern Europe up to 5 % water resources as moisture availability dryer areas.
drier per decade is already often limited in summer.
Decreasing trends in precipitation levels * Amplified changes in annual river
for southern Europe (max - 1 % per discharge - decline strongly in southern
Future trends in droughts * Bad harvests become more common
It is likely that, by 2080, droughts as well
as intense precipitation events will become
Future trends in hot summers * Heat waves will be more frequent and * Over 20,000 excess deaths from
Cold winters are projected to disappear more intense in the number of excess heat in W and S Europe summer
almost entirely by 2080 and hot summers deaths due to heat is projected to 2003
are projected to become much more increase. Fewer cold spells will reduce
frequent. winter deaths.
Artic sea ice future trends * Decrease in the maximum ice thickness * Sea ice may disappear in summer
Increase in global temperature. of about 0.06 metres per C. by the end of this century
* Increase in open water duration of (Johannessen, 2002).
about 7.5 days per C (IPCC, 2001).
* Sea ice extent by 2050 might be about
80 % less than in mid-twentieth century
Snow - future trends * Regions currently receiving snowfall * Snowfall in lower mountain
Increase in temperature over Europe. will increasingly receive precipitation areas will be increasingly
in the form of rain. For every 1 C unpredictable and unreliable over
European Alps and Pyrenees are likely to increase in temperature, the snowline coming decades (Biurki et al.,
experience milder winters with more rises ~ 150 metres. There could be 2003).
precipitation, and hotter, drier summers greater snow accumulation in regions * Nearly half of all ski resorts in
(Beniston et al., 1995). above the freezing line due to increased Switzerland, and even more in
snowfall (IPCC, 2001 a). Germany, Austria and the
* Conditions are likely to reduce snow Pyrenees, will face difficulties in
cover on low mountains. In temperate attracting tourists and winter
mountain regions, snow temperature is sport enthusiasts.
close to melting point and sensitive to
changes in temperature.
AEA Technology Environment, August 2005
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Watkiss, Paul; Downing, Tom; Handley, Claire & Butterfield, Ruth. The Impacts and Costs of Climate Change, text, September 2005; Oxford, England. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29337/m1/18/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .