Northern Europe – June 1st, 2013
Higher than average temperatures have been observed across Europe as well as decreasing precipitation in southern regions and increasing precipitation in northern Europe. Extreme weather events such as heat waves, floods and droughts have caused rising damage costs across Europe in recent years.
While precipitation is decreasing in southern regions, it is increasing in northern Europe, and these trends are projected to continue. Climate change is projected to increase river flooding, particularly in northern Europe, as higher temperatures intensify the water cycle.
Many studies have measured widespread changes in plant and animal characteristics. For example, plants are flowering earlier in the year. Here, the vegetation index is stronger (dark green) to the south, and weaker (yellow) near the northern coastline, although it is mostly good throughout the image.
In freshwater, phytoplankton and zooplankton blooms are also appearing earlier. Other animals and plants are moving northward or uphill as their habitats warm. Since the migration rate of many species is insufficient to keep pace with the speed of climate change, they could be pushed towards extinction in the future.