Top PDF The snow load in Europe and the climate change

The snow load in Europe and the climate change

The snow load in Europe and the climate change

The Final Report of the Project Team on SC1.T5 “Climate change” (2017) under Mandate M/515 provides advice to the Eurocode writers on how to refer to and implement possible e ffects from the known future changes in the climate of extremes in Europe. The Report refers to the most recent reports and scientific findings available, as well as to various socio-economic and other summary reports. The report concludes that the science of global climate changes is still not sufficiently developed to identify any substantial methods for quanti fication of extreme values (with given return periods) for neither temperature, wind, rain, snow nor any com- bination of these, to be valid for the forecast of changing climate in Europe. It recommends re-examining at regular intervals (no more than 10 years) the weather parameters significant for specification of characteristic values, by using conventional methods (extreme value analyses). However, as regards the bridges and other structures influenced by stresses from extreme temperatures, they should be designed for temperature amplitudes which may be justi fied using climate projections for the actual region. The report also recommends emphasizing and adjusting the inspections and maintenance schemes for structures approaching their expected life time. 3.2. De finition of the snow load in the European design standards
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Mitigation of Climate Change through Conservation Agriculture in Europe

Mitigation of Climate Change through Conservation Agriculture in Europe

Agriculture and climate change are closely related. In this communication, the European Conservation Agriculture Federation (ECAF) presents how the European agricultural sector can respond to climate change through Conservation Agriculture (CA). It is based on the outcomes and the realization of several European (LIFE) public-funded projects based on the assessment of CA performance in Europe, and on a literature review on the topic. In terms of contribution, approximately 10% of greenhouse gases (GHGs) globally emitted come from the European Union (EU). Within the GHGs emitted in Europe, around 10% derive from agriculture. In order to reduce these emissions the 21 st meeting of the Conference of the Parties
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Vulnerability to abrupt climate change in Europe

Vulnerability to abrupt climate change in Europe

As with agriculture, there has been a large amount of research in Europe over the last decade examining the potential effects of gradual climate change on forest resources. Much has been funded by the European Union. The general conclusion (e.g. Parry, 2000; Nabuurs et al., 2002) is that productivity will increase in northern Europe, and the boreal forest zone will expand northwards. However, the rate of northwards displacement of climatic suitability will be greater than the estimated potential of many species of migrate (Parry, 2000), so the boreal forest zone may in practice be squeezed by declining suitability in the south and a slow rate of migration northwards. Fire risk is likely to increase (Stocks et al., 1998), but increased productivity would probably offset increased disturbances (Schelhaus et al., 2003), at least in northern, western and central areas. In western and central European temperate forests higher temperatures would lead to an increasing dominance of deciduous broad-leaved species over coniferous species, but summer droughts could threaten some forests. Changes in the forests of southern Europe would be more affected by changes in water availability than temperature (Parry, 2000). Increased timber productivity in northern Europe could mean a reduction in the import of timber products from Russia and eastern Europe (Solberg et al., 2003).
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Climate change impacts and adaptation in Europe

Climate change impacts and adaptation in Europe

1 Introduction Climate change is among the biggest threats for humanity, seriously affecting human health 1 , the natural environment 2 , and security 3 . Despite the ambition of the Paris Agreement 4 on Climate Change to keep global warming ‘well below 2°C’ compared to pre-industrial temperatures and to pursue a more ambitious goal of 1.5°C, greenhouse gas emissions worldwide are still growing. As global temperature is now around 1˚C higher compared to the late 19 th century, the likelihood that global warming will surpass the Paris targets is growing. If adequate mitigation strategies are not introduced global warming could reach 3°C or more by 2100. The EU is preparing to minimise future impacts of unavoidable climate change in its member states through the EU Adaptation Strategy. A key objective of the strategy is to promote better informed decision-making by refining knowledge gaps (identifying and addressing them) and enhance knowledge sharing and transfer across Europe. Action 4 of the Strategy, in particular, aims to bridge the knowledge gap for some key unknowns. These include 'information on damage from climate change’ and the ‘benefits and costs of adaptation'. Climate impacts in Europe are not yet fully understood and quantified, especially with regard to extremes or impacts on ecosystems and security. Moreover, there is a clear need for a better understanding of how climate impacts could be reduced with sectoral adaptation measures and at what economic cost. Many of these issues remain challenging research topics, especially the quantification of the vulnerability of people, economic sectors and ecosystems to climate change and the economic analysis of adaptation.
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Climate change, reforestation/afforestation, and urbanization impacts on evapotranspiration and streamflow in Europe

Climate change, reforestation/afforestation, and urbanization impacts on evapotranspiration and streamflow in Europe

Changes in climate and land use generally affect both the average evapotranspiration and streamflow. But whereas changes in evapotranspiration are needed to explain changes in streamflow, the socio-economic impact relates more di- rectly to streamflow since this reflects average freshwater availability. This is of particular relevance in the Mediter- ranean region, where a decline in water yield or stream- flow reflects a decrease in water available for irrigation and agricultural production downstream. Our results indicate that land use changes in the more mountainous areas in the Mediterranean have contributed significantly to reductions in streamflow. Conversely, increasing streamflow in north- ern Europe might be beneficial to other sectors such as the hydropower industry. The finding that land use change ef- fects are of similar magnitude to climate change effects on water availability also has important implications beyond the yearly average values. Extremes will likely also be im- pacted by land use, yet current drought projections for Eu- rope (Forzieri et al., 2014; Samaniego et al., 2018) or as- sessments of changes in floods (e.g. Hall et al., 2014) do not take into account past and/or future land cover changes. Not accounting for land use change will likely lead to regional overestimation or underestimation of changes in water avail- ability. Therefore, land use change impacts on evapotranspi- ration and streamflow need to be considered in conjunction with climate change impacts.
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statement Climate change and infectious diseases in Europe

statement Climate change and infectious diseases in Europe

rodent-borne hantaviruses, and parasitic diseases such as dirofi lariasis and leishmaniasis. Climate change is also increasing the threat of infections, such as bluetongue virus (BTV), in domesticated animals. Although the evidence base is fragmented and it is also important to take account of the other various determinants of changes in ecosystems and in human, animal and microbial behaviour, the fundamental infl uence of climate change on infectious diseases in Europe is beginning to be discerned. And although the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the European Commission and its agencies are already active in monitoring and evaluating some infections, there is much more to be done to fi ll gaps in the evidence base, prepare public health authorities and raise the political profi le of the issue, without being alarmist—to alert to the possible emergence of new threats as well as the expansion of diseases already present in Europe. Our assessment of the available evidence, predominantly for vector-borne diseases, leads us to make several recommendations directed to EU and national decision-makers, with the objectives of identifying and supporting the necessary adaptation responses to what is unavoidable in climate change:
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Climate Change and Future Pollen Allergy in Europe

Climate Change and Future Pollen Allergy in Europe

This research is the culmination of a large multidisciplinary European Commission funded project (Atopica®; FP7 grant agree- ment No. 282687). Specifically, for the present analysis, we integrated estimates of current and future ragweed pollen levels (previously developed within Atopica®) with published data on sensitization rates and population density. To estimate pollen levels, the Atopica® group first used a process-based model of weed growth, plant population dynamics, and competition to project the future expansion of ragweed’s range under different climate change scenarios (for details, see Storkey et al. 2014). These range results were then inputted into a system modeling plant invasion, pollen production, pollen release, and the atmospheric dispersion of pollen to simulate current (1986–2005) and future (2041–2060) ragweed pollen levels in Europe (for details, see Hamaoui-Laguel et al. 2015). To provide an estimate of uncertainty, these projections were produced for two different suites of regional climate/ pollen models (henceforth, CHIMERE and WRF/RegCM; Hamaoui-Laguel et al. 2015). These projections differ in their driving global climate models and in their representation of dynamical and physical atmospheric processes. Both model suites used CMIP5 data (Taylor et al. 2012) to account for changing land use patterns. In addition, pollen levels were simulated under two alternative greenhouse gas concentration scenarios [Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5, which assumes high emissions, and RCP4.5, which assumes moderate emissions] and three different ragweed plant invasion scenarios (slow, rapid, and reference rates of spread) (Hamaoui-Laguel et al. 2015). The outputs from these models were daily ragweed pollen levels for 50 km × 50 km grid cells across Europe. Two estimates of current levels were produced (based on CHIMERE or WRF/ RegCM), as were 12 estimates of future levels (based on CHIMERE or WRF/RegCM, plus the 2 RCP and 3 plant invasion scenarios).
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Climate change and the process of migration to Europe

Climate change and the process of migration to Europe

The refugee crisis which began in 2015 showed that Europe and the EU are not prepared for the challenges of the future. Several studies are also coming to the conclusion that climate change will have a huge impact on movements of migration from Africa to Europe. By the year 2050, approximately 86 million people will be forced to flee from their country of origin as a consequence of climate change, mainly in Sub-Saharan and East Africa. Significant migration movements are expected to be the result. This paper aims to anticipate possible refugee inflows from Africa and attempts to outline a set of recommendations as to how mass migration to Europe could be avoided. For this purpose, the effects of climate change, demographic development, politics, and economics are taken into consideration with a case study on Sub-Saharan Africa. The article shows that displacement will not only affect Africa but also Europe, absent effective policy changes. However, early crisis prevention could stop mass migration to Europe. Nevertheless, climate change can only be tackled to a certain extent, and decision makers have to find ways on how to deal with this issue. Especially, urbanization programs in rural, but livable, regions could be a solution. Overall, European refugee policy has to change significantly, as the ongoing refugee crisis has the potential to disrupt European integration.
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Climate change and mycotoxin contamination in Central Europe : an overview of recent findings

Climate change and mycotoxin contamination in Central Europe : an overview of recent findings

Climate change accompanied by global warming affects food security and food safety at different levels. Climate change has a direct impact on local weather conditions. Higher temperatures and elevated humidity or drought will increase the infection of crops by different fungi and therefore increase the probability of mycotoxin occurrence. Fungi have optimum temperature ranges within which they can infect agricultural crops more severely. Increasing average temperatures could lead to changes in the range of latitudes at which certain fungi are able to compete. The production of several mycotoxins including aflatoxins, ochratoxins or fumonisins is favored by moisture and high temperature. Recently, several papers have dealt with the effects of global warming caused by climate change on the appearance of mycotoxin producing fungi and mycotoxins in agricultural products. In this review, we wish to give a general overview on the potential effects of climate change on the occurrence of mycotoxin producing fungi and their mycotoxins in Central Europe.
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Resilience of large investments and critical infrastructures in Europe to climate change

Resilience of large investments and critical infrastructures in Europe to climate change

shares of drought and heat damages strongly rises due to their more pronounced increase in view of climate change compared to the other hazards. Heat waves and droughts will likely cover more than 70% of climate hazard damages by the end of the century (vs 12% in the baseline period). This suggests that drastic changes in damage scenarios could manifest not only in terms of the magnitude of damage, but also in typologies of impacts. The contribution of wildfires and coastal floods is low, albeit that a strong increase in coastal flood damages is projected in the coming century. The low contribution of coastal flood damages may relate to the fact that in EMDAT there is no specific entry for coastal floods, and coastal flood events can be reported under storms or floods. So likely part of the coastal flood damages is reflected in the inland flood and windstorm damages. The contribution of cold waves is also low and cold-related damages in Europe could completely disappear with global warming. Hazard-contributions vary amongst the different sectors. For the social sector, damages from windstorms and inland flooding will remain important. The industry and energy sector will be most impacted by droughts, with 56% and 67%, respectively, of the sector damages relating to droughts by the end of this century. For the transport sector, on the other hand, heatwaves will largely dominate future damages (92% of total damages by 2080s). It is important to note that a decrease in the share of the damage of a specific hazard to the total multi- hazard damage does not imply that in absolute terms the damage due to this hazard will be lower.
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How will climate change modify river flow regimes in Europe?

How will climate change modify river flow regimes in Europe?

In various studies of the scientific literature, the impact of climate change on river flow regimes has been analysed. Most of them are conducted on a relatively small geograph- ical extent (e.g. on river basin scale) and/or focus on mean annual or seasonal water flow. Only a few large-scale studies were published so far which analysed the impact of climate change on specific flow characteristics or on ecologically- relevant flow regimes. Nohara et al. (2006) evaluated the im- pact of climate change on monthly hydrographs for 24 major rivers in the world. With a focus on extreme events in Eu- rope, changes in flood hazards (Dankers and Feyen, 2009) and hydrological droughts (Feyen and Dankers, 2009) have been analysed for different climate scenarios as well. D¨oll and Zhang (2010) investigated for the first time the impact of global warming on five ecologically-relevant flow parameters at the global scale and additionally, compared the impacts to flow regime alterations caused by water withdrawals and dam management. The papers of Laiz´e et al. (2010, 2013) were the first which assessed the combined effects of cli- mate change and socio-economic pressures for different fu- ture scenarios, and applied a full set of ecologically-relevant hydrological indicators on a detailed river network cover- ing pan-Europe. Recently, the impact of climate change on ecologically important flood flows has been investigated by Schneider et al. (2011) for floodplain rivers in Europe. This paper aims at evaluating the sole impact of climate change on river flow regimes in Europe, analysing the dynamics sepa- rately for each climate zone. In particular the following ques- tions shall be addressed: (i) How will different driving forces such as precipitation, temperature and snowmelt alter in dif- ferent climate zones? (ii) Where in Europe will flow regime modifications most severe? (iii) How will extreme flow char- acteristics be impacted in each climate zone? And (iv) what will typical flow regimes look like in the 2050s in the differ- ent climate zones?
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Adapting wheat in Europe for climate change

Adapting wheat in Europe for climate change

Increasing cereal yield is needed to meet the projected increased demand for world food supply of about 70% by 2050. Sirius, a process-based model for wheat, was used to estimate yield potential for wheat ideotypes optimized for future climatic projections for ten wheat growing areas of Europe. It was pre- dicted that the detrimental effect of drought stress on yield would be decreased due to enhanced tailoring of phenology to future weather patterns, and due to genetic improvements in the response of photosynthesis and green leaf duration to water shortage. Yield advances could be made through extending maturation and thereby improve resource capture and partitioning. However the model predicted an increase in frequency of heat stress at meiosis and anthesis. Controlled environment ex- periments quantify the effects of heat and drought at booting and flowering on grain numbers and potential grain size. A current adaptation of wheat to areas of Europe with hotter and drier summers is a quicker maturation which helps to escape from excessive stress, but results in lower yields. To increase yield potential and to respond to climate change, increased tolerance to heat and drought stress should remain priorities for the genetic improvement of wheat.
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Climate change and future ozone concentrations in high
resolution over Europe

Climate change and future ozone concentrations in high resolution over Europe

However both methodologies are subject to limitations. For instance, most of the dynamical studies regarding the future projections of ozone under the influence of climate change focusing on Europe have a 50 km horizontal resolution and when a finer resolution is applied, they are confined to smaller domains. Apart from the computational cost, other challenges also arise with dynamical downscaling such as consistency in the physics and chemistry between the parent GCM and RCM (Jacob and Winner 2009). Although statistical downscalling is less computational expensive, its main limitation arises from the fact that the statistical relationships are based on historical data and there is no guarantee that the past observed relationships between different variables will exhibit the same characteristics in the future. The objective of this study is to develop a methodology in order to apply the ozone concentration change signal from a global climate-chemical modelling system with a coarse horizontal resolution to a finer resolution over Europe.
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Reforestation challenges in Southeast Europe facing climate change

Reforestation challenges in Southeast Europe facing climate change

Reforesta Scientific Society 188 Climate envelope models compare the climate of seed sources and potential planting sites. Beaulieu and Rainville (2005) proposed a methodology combining a biophysical site index model and a seed source transfer model based on temperature and precipitation for identifying the most productive seed source of Picea glauca (Moench) Voss. Gray and Hamann (2011) used bioclimatic modeling and multivariate approaches to identify the best matching seed sources for current and projected climates in Alberta, Canada. Potter and Hargrove (2012) developed quantitative ecoregion outputs in the form of similarity maps that can be used in cases of: 1) unidirectional seed transfer from a given location toward colder climate conditions, and 2) composite provenancing, for finding sources ecogeographically matched to focal site. In their meta-analysis based on long-term growth data of 2,800 provenances transferred to 120 European test sites, Isaac-Renton et al. (2014) used bioclimate envelope models developed for North America to guide assisted migration under climate change to retrospectively predict the success of these provenance transfers to Europe, with partial success. The model was generally successful in predicting the best performing provenances along north-south gradients in Western Europe, but failed to predict provenances with superior performance in Eastern Europe (Isaac-Renton et al. 2014). “An important criticism of bioclimate envelope models is that many wide-ranging species consist of locally adapted populations that may all lag behind their optimal climate habitat under climate change, and thus should be modeled separately” (Gray and Hamann 2013). For 15 wide-ranging forest tree species in western North America, Gray and Hamann (2013) found that on average populations already lag behind their optimal climate niche by approximately 130 km in latitude, or 60 m in elevation. They suggest using a general formula where a 100 km shift northward is equivalent to an approximately 44 m shift upward in elevation to guide assisted migration of planting stock in reforestation programs. This emphasizes the need for knowledge on species genetic variability at the provenance level and the importance for further research on tree species of SEE.
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Effect of Climate Change on Fisheries and Aquaculture with emphasis on Central and Eastern Europe

Effect of Climate Change on Fisheries and Aquaculture with emphasis on Central and Eastern Europe

It is well documented that fishing can cause changes in population genetic structure. Such changes and loss of genotypes suggests that during conditions of changing climate, special protection should be extended to the populations at the edges of their ranges, where the first adverse impacts (due to increasing temperature, declining salinity etc.) are expected to occur. The decline in the European cod stocks caused by over fishing has been aggravated by climatic caused changes in plankton production at the Southern borders of the cod abundance. Climate change may have a significant impact on the supply of organic matter by dense shelf water cascading (DSWC) - a type of current that is driven solely by seawater density contrast - to deep-sea ecosystems. A 2006 paper of Miquel Canals et al. on DSWC. presents interesting findings on how DSWC can transport large amounts of water and nutrient rich sediment from estuarine areas to the deep-sea environment. Several of these phenomena happen in the Mediterranean Sea and one investigated transported in four months the amount of water from the Gulf of Lions to the deep Western Mediterranean, via the Cap de Creus canyon, that equaled around 12 years of the water input from the river Rhone, or 2 years of input from all rivers draining into the Mediterranean. The deep-sea shrimp Aristeus antennatus (marketed as crevette rouge) is highly dependant on this flushing and stabilizing the vertical layers as an effect of the change in climate will most likely reduce its abundance. Nellemann, Hain and Alder‟s report (2008) points at “The Big Five Stressors” as primary threats to the worlds oceans to be:
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Climate change projections for variables affecting road networks in Europe

Climate change projections for variables affecting road networks in Europe

 The largest consequences will be observed between the 40° N and 50° N latitude lines, if no adaptations are made towards the use of deformation resistant surface materials. In such areas - if no adaptations are made and current materials will be used - the deformations will increase significantly. However, the change will occur gradually, enabling adaptation within regular pavement rehabilitation cycles. On roads with small traffic load and thin paved roads, the surface material will age more quickly than previously. On asphaltic roads the cracking and deformations of the supporting layer will increase. Selection of asphalts with lower penetration bitumens will readily address the rutting issue. An increase in top-down cracking is also suggested (Hoff and Lalagüe 2010) which may necessitate increased use of polymer modification of bituminous binders.
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Climate change and asset prices - evidence on market inefficiency in Europe

Climate change and asset prices - evidence on market inefficiency in Europe

The annualised alpha of the long-short portfolio of 5.12% found is statistically significant even when an annual total expense ratio of 1.50% is accounted for. The persistent risk-adjusted abnormal returns identified thus not only cover transaction and information costs and consequently represent a market inefficiency not only in the original version of EMH of Fama (1970), but also in Jensen’s less strong but economically more reasonable definition of EMH. As discussed in chapter 2.1.3 Three Conditions for an Efficient Market, the market is argued to be efficient in Jensen’s version of EMH when the expected risk-adjusted returns of an investment strategy for individuals are consumed by its transaction and information costs (Fama, 1991; Jensen, 1978). In summary, it is consequently deduced that between January 2005 and December 2009 the financial market was inefficient in pricing climate change induced systematic risk of European companies as proxied by a company’s affiliation with the EU ETS. This result is obtained at a rather low yet conventional confidence level of 10%, but confirmed at higher statistical significance levels in regressions with alternative weighting procedures of portfolio returns (see Appendices A.1 European Emission Trading Scheme and B.1 European Emission Trading Scheme ) . Hypothesis 1a is consequently rejected, as the regression evidenced differences in risk-adjusted returns between portfolios constructed from companies that are affiliated and those that are not affiliated with the EU ETS. At a statistical power level of 0.96 at all relevant significance levels and a medium effect size of 0.30 (Cohen, 1988) the possibility that wrong conclusions are derived for the interpretation of results with regard to any of the hypotheses under examination in this study is regarded as small. A post-hoc analysis of statistical power was carried out using Faul, Erdfelder, Buchner, and Lang (2009).
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Economic valuation of the impacts of climate change in agriculture in Europe

Economic valuation of the impacts of climate change in agriculture in Europe

protection, agriculture, and water resources management, determine, and limit, possible adaptation options to climate change. An improved understanding of the climate- agriculture-societal response interactions is highly relevant to European policy since according to the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (IPCC, 2007), climate change is already happening, and will continue to happen even if global greenhouse gas emissions are curtailed. There is now concern that global warming has the potential for affecting the climatic regimes of entire regions (IPCC, 2007). The effects of climate change on agriculture vary between different regions and different scales (global, regional and local). Many studies document the implications of climate change for agriculture and pose a reasonable concern that climate change is a threat to poverty and sustainable development, especially in marginal areas. Nevertheless, the relationships between climate change and agriculture are complex, because they involve climatic and environmental aspects (physical effects) and social and economic responses.
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Lyme borreliosis in Europe: influences of climate and climate change, epidemiology, ecology and adaptation measures

Lyme borreliosis in Europe: influences of climate and climate change, epidemiology, ecology and adaptation measures

LB is a multisystem disorder, which can affect a complex range of tissues. The clinical presentations can generally be divided into three stages, but progress from an early to a later stage does not always occur. The early infection consists of localized erythema migrans (stage 1), which occurs in about 60–80% of cases within 2–30 days of a tick bite and consists of a red skin rash or lesion spreading from the site of the bite. If left untreated, a disseminated infection that affects the nervous system, joints and/or the heart (stage 2) may follow within days or weeks. Neuroborreliosis occurs in about 20% of LB cases, arthritis in 10%, while carditis is rare. Among children, B. burgdorferi s.l. is now the most common bacterial cause of encephalitis and facial palsy/paralyses. Chronic LB (stage 3) is nowadays uncommon. In the United States chronic LB causes symptoms mainly in the joints, particularly the knee, whereas in Europe chronic symptoms are more diverse and include a rare degenerative skin condition called acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans, which mainly occurs in elderly women. It has been suggested that different genospecies of B. burgdorferi s.l. are associated with different clinical manifestations, as shown in Table 5. However the symptoms often overlap between genospecies (Schaarschmidt et al., 2001; Ornstein et al., 2002).
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Extreme Weather Events in Europe: preparing for climate change adaptation

Extreme Weather Events in Europe: preparing for climate change adaptation

Policy responses in Europe and criteria for flood defence design In reaction to the recent flood disasters in Europe since the 1990s, especially the summer 2002 floods, and the pressure of more risk-averse and risk-aware populations, a new perspective on flood risk has evolved. People demand protection and politicians are taking notice. At government level, legislative action has been taken to reduce risks and build a uniform approach to the management of floods. The European Union’s Floods Directive (CEC, 2007), applying to inland coastal waters across the whole of the EU, is expected to aid reduction and management of the risks that floods pose to human life and health, the environment, cultural heritage, economic activity and infrastructure. The directive required EU Member States to carry out a preliminary assessment to identify the river basins and coastal areas at risk of flooding by 2011. For such zones, hazard maps have to be drawn up by 2013, and flood-risk management plans focusing on prevention, protection and preparedness have to be designed by 2015. Flood-hazard and flood-risk mapping will aid in developing protective measures and indicate, quantitatively, the danger to people living in unsafe areas and to insurers. Assessment is expected to provide a rational choice basis for allowing development at a particular site, taking into consideration how the development may affect flooding. The
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