In 2013, the Scientific Advisory Council of European Academies, a group of 27 national scientific academies in Europe, published a study entitled Trends in Extreme Weather Conditions in Europe. This week, the Council expanded this study to include data from 2013 to 2017.
For the initial report, the team studied the extremes in temperature, precipitation, drought and other climatic indices from 1980 to 2013. They found that the number of extreme climatic events has doubled since 1980, as well as the number of meteorological phenomena (storms), and the number of hydrological phenomena (floods, avalanches and mudflows) has increased sixfold.
Data for 2013-2017 indicate that this trend is still in force, and the number of natural disasters is not going to decrease.
The new report also gave suggestions on the reasons for this trend. These include the weakening of the Gulf Stream, which slows down with a rise in temperature on the planet. Some scientists worry that this current will disappear altogether, as a result of which the climate of Europe will radically change. The researchers who submitted this report can not say whether the Gulf Stream can disappear altogether, and offer to collect more information.
It is also interesting to note that the US lost about $ 10 billion in 1980 due to storms, whereas in 2015 this figure reached 20 billion. In Europe, despite the increased number of floods, financial losses are more or less at the same level. Researchers note that such stability can be caused not by a small amount of destruction, but by the fact that countries invest more money in preventive measures, since such natural disasters become in fact the norm of existence, and they need to be taken into account.
Thus, in Europe, such extreme environmental conditions have become so frequent that they are already taken into account at the level of compiling national budgets. As far as this is good news, it’s hard to say.