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Escalating impacts of climate extremes on critical infrastructures in Europe

Source(s):  Elsevier

This paper shows how single- and multi-hazard damage to energy, transport, industrial, and social critical infrastructures in Europe are likely to develop until the year 2100 under the influence of climate change. Future losses will not be incurred equally across Europe. Southern and south-eastern European countries will be most affected and, as a result, will probably require higher costs of adaptation. The findings of this study could aid in prioritizing regional investments to address the unequal burden of impacts and differences in adaptation capacities across Europe.

This paper combines a set of high-resolution climate hazard projections, a detailed representation of physical assets in various sectors and their sensitivity to the hazards, and more than 1100 records of losses from climate extremes in a prognostic modelling framework. It finds that damages could triple by the 2020s, multiply six-fold by mid-century, and amount to more than 10 times present damage of €3.4 billion per year by the end of the century due only to climate change. Damage from heatwaves, droughts in southern Europe, and coastal floods shows the most dramatic rise, but the risks of inland flooding, windstorms, and forest fires will also increase in Europe, with varying degrees of change across regions. Economic losses are highest for the industry, transport, and energy sectors.

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  • Escalating impacts of climate extremes on critical infrastructures in Europe
  • Publication date 2017
  • Author(s) Forzieria, Giovanni; Bianchi, Alessandra; Batista e Silva, Filipe; Herrera, Mario A. Marin; Leblois, Antoine; Lavalle, Carlo; Aerts, Jeroen C.J.H.; Feyen, Luc
  • Number of pages 11 p.

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