Monday, June 18, 2007

France faces a particular threat from climate change

From the American Geophysical Union:
WASHINGTON – The number of dangerously hot days in the Mediterranean region could increase by 200 percent to 500 percent in this century, if rates of greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise rapidly, a new analysis finds. Of nations covered by the study, France would undergo the greatest upswing in high-temperature extremes. Mitigating these grim projections, reductions of greenhouse gas emissions may lessen the intensification of dangerously hot days by as much as 50 percent, the study shows.
In 2003, 35,000 Europeans died during a heat wave, including 15,000 in France.

2006 also had record temperatures, exacerbating a summer drought:
The heat wave hit just as farmers were beginning their wheat harvests in the midst of severe drought. The European Commission said southwestern France, southeastern Spain and central Italy are being particularly parched, with the French wheat harvest down by a fifth.

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