Global warming to hit Europe hard


Europe is warming up more quickly than the rest of the world, and cold winters could disappear almost entirely by 2080 as a result of global warming, researchers predicted last week.

Heat waves and floods are likely to become more frequent and three quarters of the Swiss Alps’ glaciers could melt by 2050, the study prepared by the European Environment Agency said.

The concentration of carbon dioxide, one of the heat-trapping greenhouse gases blamed for global warming, is now at its highest level in at least 420,000 years, the EEA report said.

“This report pulls together a wealth of evidence that climate change is already happening and having widespread impacts, many of them with substantial economic costs on people and ecosystems in Europe,” EEA executive director Jacqueline McGlade said in a statement.

The floods that swept through 11 European countries in 2001 killed about 80 people, while last year’s heat wave in western and southern Europe claimed the lives of more than 20,000.

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