EEA Updates Climate Change Indicators

EEA6 August 2014: The European Environment Agency (EEA) has published 13 climate change indicators, updating information included in its 2012 assessment 'Climate Change, Impacts and Vulnerability in Europe.' According to EEA, the period 2004-2013 was Europe's warmest decade on record, and many global trends, such as sea level rise, warming oceans, and shrinking snow cover, are having significant impacts on the continent.

Drawing on information presented in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) on the physical science of climate change (published in September 2013) and more recently observed data, EEA updated the following indicators: global and European temperature; mean precipitation; storms; glaciers; snow cover; Greenland ice sheet; Arctic and Baltic sea ice; permafrost; global and European sea level rise; sea surface temperature; ocean acidification; ocean heat content; and storm surges.

Additionally, the updated information provides revised projections, including for regional sea-level rise for European regional seas and for snow and ice decline. EEA explains that if greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions continue at high levels, the Arctic Ocean is expected to be almost ice-free every September by mid-century.

In terms of facilitating adaptation to these climatic changes, EEA also announced the addition of new case studies to its Climate-ADAPT website. The Netherlands' 'Room for the River' project is featured, as is Spain's promotion of a "water saving culture." The former supported better management of flood plains and an urban river park in Nijmegen to help absorb flooding, while the latter is combating droughts with revised water tariffs and upgraded water infrastructure in Zaragoza. [EEA Press Release] [Climate-ADAPT Website]