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by Nicola Lugeri, Marco Moriondo, Zbigniew Kundzewicz, Reinhard Mechler

We find many regions and countries in Eastern Europe to represent flood risk hotspots, and agriculture in Southern Europe particularly at risk to drought and heat stress. At the provincial level, regions in Eastern Europe, central France, and Scandinavia seem to be particularly at risk. These findings are generally in line with the priority areas for action identified in the Green Paper. Aggregation of risks to national level reveals that Eastern European countries seem to be under particular stress. In nearly all new EU Member States, annualized flood risk, when measured in GDP, exceeds 1 per cent. Due to a lack of localized climate projections, flood risk remains difficult to project reliably into the future, and we use sensitivity analysis to project risk into the period 2071-2100, which may limit the ability of these risk estimates to inform current policies. Drought and heatwave risk, substantially defined by large scale and mean climatic changes, for which projections exist, can be projected. In a no adaptation scenario for the high emission case (SRES A2) and 2 degrees warming expected for a period around 2030-2060, this risk would worsen across Southern Europe; yet, effective and low cost adaptation is at hand, and seems at least partially possible, substantially reducing risk. Overall, however some regional heterogeneity remains in our model based projections with Northern Europe profiting from an increase in rainfall and temperature, yet Southern Europe, and here particularly, Spain and Italy, increasingly overstressed from heatwave and drought episodes.

 

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