Document / Publication
Environment Alert Bulletin no. 2.
This issue covers the human, environmental and economic impacts of the extreme drought and heat wave that hit Europe in the summer of 2003, that had adverse effects such as the death of thousands of vulnerable people, the destruction of large areas of forests by fire, and effects on water ecosystems and glaciers. For example, Alpine glaciers lost 10% of their mass in just one summer, and the total economic losses in Europe are estimated to exceed 13 billion Euros. This Early Warning brief concludes that the heat wave that hit Europe in the summer of 2003 could be seen as one more warning of impacts from a warmer climate on populations and ecosystems.