Life in Europe will indeed go on as the climate changes, but not in the same way as before. The air will be warmer, winds will change, patterns of rainfall and snowfall will alter, and sea level is likely to rise. These phenomena are already being seen. Europe will in the future experience marked changes in vegetation cover, increased floods along rivers and coastlines as well as more frequent droughts and forest fires, often leading to large societal costs. The changes will be minor in some cases, profound in others, but in any case, pervasive. This book uses the most up to date information issued by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), and informs readers about these effects, as well as showing how Europe is contributing to attempts to slow the tempo of global climate change, and how it can adapt to the climate change that seems unavoidable. Life in Europe under Climate Change makes essential information on climate impacts in Europe accessible to a broad audience, including students, politicians, planners and members of non-governmental organizations.
Joseph Alcamo is Chief Scientist of the United Nations Environment Programme where he is responsible for engaging the scientific community in the policy arena to help solve global environmental problems. He is on leave as Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering and Director of the Center of Environmental Systems Research at the University of Kassel, Germany. He was a coordinating lead author of the assessment of climate impacts in Europe in the Fourth Assessment report of the IPCC. Jorgen E. Olesen is Professor of agriculture and climate change at Aarhus University in Denmark. He was a lead author in the Fourth Assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He was a member of the Commission on Climate Change Policy for the Government in Denmark. He is a member of the Danish Council on Ethics, and he chairs the food and agriculture group of the Danish green think tank CONCITO.
Foreword vi Preface viii 1 Introduction 1 2 Climate and climate change 21 3 Human health 48 4 Food production 72 5 Water security 98 6 Sea and coastline 124 7 Ecosystems and biodiversity 146 8 Impacts on Europe s industries 188 9 Summing up impacts and adaptation 207 10 Climate protection in Europe 241 Index 283 Color plate pages fall between pp. 150 and 151