According to a new scientific study, Athens and Greece are in the environmental crosshairs and will be the worst hit of all European capitals where future droughts and heatwaves are concerned. Researchers at Newcastle University sourced all the available climate models (based on three scenarios) in order to predict how weather patterns will evolve for some 571 European cities between 2050 and 2100.
The researchers used three scenarios to analyze the future impact of floods, droughts and heatwaves, thereby predicting higher temperatures and worse heatwaves in all 571 cities (even with the most optimistic of the three scenarios). The data also forecast increased drought especially in southern Europe and worse floods, especially in north-western Europe. Furthermore, the study predicts that some areas of the European South may experience droughts up to 14 times worse than seen today. Dr Selma Guerreiro, lead researcher, explains:
“Although southern European regions are adapted to cope with droughts, this level of change could be beyond breaking point.”
According to the study, Athens, Lisbon, Madrid, Nicosia and Sofia will be the hardest hit by the coming droughts. The cities with the biggest increases are predicted to be; Athens, Nicosia, Prague, Rome and Sofia.
The news for Greece does not get any better, as five more Greek cities (Athens, Patras, Heraklion, Kalamata and Piraeus) are in the highest five percent of European cities at risk of both extreme droughts and heatwaves.
The study, “Future heat-waves, droughts and floods in 571 European cities,” was published at Environmental Research Letters.