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Many animal and plant species are experiencing changes to their life cycles, and are subsequently migrating northwards and to higher altitudes. Marine species are similarly migrating northwards.
Many animal and plant species are experiencing changes to their life cycles, and are subsequently migrating northwards and to higher altitudes. Marine species are similarly migrating northwards.

Europe Counting the Cost of Climate Change

The report says climate change is impacting the ecosystems, economy and human health and continues to worsen

Europe Counting the Cost of Climate Change

The impact of extreme weather on Europe’s economy has risen sharply since the 1980s. According to a new report, it is further set to worsen as the impact of global warming comes to the fore.
According to the report, ‘Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2016’, published this week by the European Environment Agency, “Europe’s regions are facing rising sea levels and more extreme weather, such as more frequent and more intense heat waves, flooding, droughts and storms due to climate change.” The report assesses these trends and provides projections on climate change and its likely impact across Europe, news outlets reported.
Unsurprisingly, the report also says that “better and more flexible adaptation strategies, policies, and measures will be crucial to lessen these impacts.”
According to the EEA, the extreme weather has caused 85,000 deaths between 1980 and 2016.
The report places annual damages at nearly €7.6 billion ($8.13 billion) in the 1980s, with the figure witnessing a steep rise of 80%, reaching €13.7 billion by the 2000s and overall damages to the tune of €400 billion ($427.94 billion).
In Ireland specifically, flooding and harsh weather has cost the state nearly €3 billion during that period.
The EEA has been careful not to overly-attribute these costs to human-induced climate change. However, it does warn of the fact that this turbulence in weather is likely to worsen if such a rise in temperatures continue.
Hans Bryninckx, EEA executive director, said in a statement, “Climate change will continue for many decades to come. The scale of future climate change and its impacts will depend on the effectiveness of implementing our global agreements to cut greenhouse gas emissions, but also ensuring that we have the right adaptation strategies and policies in place to reduce the risks from current and projected climate extremes,” Bignewsnetwork quoted the report as saying.
The report also forecasts that economic cost would “potentially be high, even for modest levels of climate change, and these costs rise significantly for scenarios of greater levels of warming.”
The report added, “The strongest evidence for Europe’s vulnerability to cross-border impacts are the economic effects seen as a result of climate-related global price volatilities and disruptions to transportation networks.”
Notably, last year was the hottest year since 1880, when modern-day temperature record keeping began and according to NASA, new records have been set for three years in a row.
  Three Main Sectors
Looking into a few specifics of the three main sectors, the authors of the report determine climate change is impacting ecosystems, economy, and human health. 
Climate change—combined with other stressors such as changes in land use—are having seriously adverse effects on ecosystems and protected areas across Europe. Climate change presents a ready threat to the biodiversity at land and in the sea, and many animal and plant species are experiencing changes to their life cycles, and are subsequently migrating northwards and to higher altitudes. Marine species are similarly migrating northwards.
The primary effects of climate change to human health are linked to extreme weather events, changes in the distribution of climate-sensitive diseases, and changes in environmental and social conditions. River and coastal flooding has effected millions over the past few years, while heat waves have become more frequent and more intense, leading to tens of thousands of premature deaths across Europe.
The economic costs of climate change are similarly high, and account for more than €400 billion worth of economic losses since 1980.
All of this therefore highlights the vital and immediate need for enhancing adaptation and knowledge, so as to be able to mitigate the damage done and also better repair and adapt to the damage.

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