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WEDNESDAY, 16 APR 2014
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More droughts, heavier rains in warmer Europe, study says
Agence France Presse
A stroller takes pictures of the sunset in front of the Alps at lake Chiemsee near Seebruck, southern Germany, on Monday, Dec. 2, 2013. Weather forecasts predict temperatures around the freezing point for the next days. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
A stroller takes pictures of the sunset in front of the Alps at lake Chiemsee near Seebruck, southern Germany, on Monday, Dec. 2, 2013. Weather forecasts predict temperatures around the freezing point for the next days. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
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PARIS: Europe will likely be a much warmer place by the century’s end, plagued by frequent downpours over its entire landmass and heat waves and droughts in the south, new research showed Monday. The continent could see average temperatures rise by 1.0 to 5.0 degrees Celsius by 2100, said a statement announcing the results of a three-year climate analysis conducted by 27 research institutions.

“We see that Europe warms at a faster rate than the global average,” climate researcher Robert Vautard of France’s National Center for Scientific Research told AFP of the findings.

By the middle of the century, temperatures will be about 1-3 C higher in the south of Europe in summer, and 1-4 C in the northeast in winter, he said.

This was higher than the projected global average based on calculations of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – between 0.5 C and 2 C over the same period, said Vautard.

The findings – a set of simulations based on different global warming scenarios – have been published in two scientific journals and were released Monday as a free tool for policymakers under the banner of the Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment.

A key finding, said Vautard, was the likelihood of more intense rainfall in Europe overall – “that is to say more frequent downpours.”

“Another strong conclusion is a projected increase in heat waves in south and central Europe,” with more frequent droughts, he said.

Vautard said the CORDEX simulations would allow planning for climate impact on a very localized scale – the grid spacing between points on the map was about 12 kilometers, compared to the spacing of 100-200 km more commonly used in such climate projections.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on December 03, 2013, on page 11.
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