Projected changes in winter mean surface temperature (in K) under A1B scenario, multi-model ensemble mean for the time period 2021-2050 relative to 1961-1990 mean. (Photo: EEA)Predictions of the European Environmental Agency of global warming have been released. Records have already confirmed a warmer Europe and the future predicions say that Europe will be on average 1.5° C warmer in the period 2021-2050 than the period 1960-1990.

According to the EEA, higher temperatures lead to an increase in number of heat waves and droughts, which have great impact on water supply, agriculture production and human health.

The highest warming is projected over the eastern Scandinavia, and southern and south-eastern Europe. All areas of the continent will warm by a minimum of approximately 0.4° C and a maximum of 2.5° C, the projections indicate.

Looking further ahead to the period 2071-2100, the models predict that Europe will be on average 3 °C warmer than 1960-1990. In north eastern Scandinavia the temperature change could be up to 6° C higher than the reference period, while the Mediterranean basin and parts of Eastern Europe will also see much bigger changes than elsewhere. All areas are expected to see average annual temperatures at least 1.5° C warmer than the reference period.

Interestingly, there are great differences between summer and winter – the maps show the winters will see the greatest change in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, while the biggest temperature increases in the summer will be around the Mediterranean.

The website also states that while a few degrees increase may not seem significant, it is important to note that these are average annual temperatures, potentially masking large extremes. For example, during the period 2021 – 2050 summer in some parts of the Mediterranean is expected to be upto 2.5° C warmer than 1961-1990.