Increasing economic drought impacts in Europe with anthropogenic warming

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Gustavo Naumann, Carmelo Cammalleri, Lorenzo Mentaschi, Luc Feyen


While climate change will alter the distribution in time and space of water, quantifications of drought risk in view of global warming remain little explored. Here, we show that in Europe drought damages could strongly increase with global warming and cause a strong regional imbalance in future drought impacts. In the absence of climate action (4°C in 2100 and no adaptation) annual drought losses in the EU + UK are projected to rise to more than 65 billion €/year compared to baseline 9 billion €/year, or two times larger when expressed relative to the size of the economy. Drought losses show the strongest rise in southern and western parts of Europe, where drought conditions at 4°C could reduce regional agriculture economic output by 10%. With high warming, drought impacts will become a fraction of present risk in northern and northeastern regions. Keeping global warming well below 2°C would avoid most impacts in the affected regions.



Climate, Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Hydrology, Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Physics



Published: 2020-05-13 14:17


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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