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Risk assessment issues stark warning for major region amid rising temperatures: 'A huge wake-up call'

Solutions exist, but our window to avoid the worst is shrinking fast.

Solutions exist, but our window to avoid the worst is shrinking fast.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Europe is heating up twice as fast as the rest of the world, according to a risk assessment.

What's happening?

A new report from the European Environment Agency reveals that Europe is heating up faster than any other continent on Earth.

In fact, the EU is warming at double the rate of the global average, according to the Associated Press

A separate report from last year by the World Meteorological Organization supported this and noted that Europe has warmed by about 0.5 degrees Celsius (about 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade since the 1980s.

This concerning trend is making Europe increasingly vulnerable to severe climate impacts like intense rainfall, flooding, drought, and wildfires. Over half of the 36 major climate risks identified in the new report require greater action right now to protect people, infrastructure, and ecosystems.

Why are Europe's rising temperatures concerning?

The report is "a huge wake-up call" for the continent, Manon Dufour, Brussels director for climate think tank E3G told the AP. If urgent measures aren't taken, these climate threats may become catastrophic, the report warned.

More frequent and intense heat waves pose serious health risks, especially for vulnerable populations like children and the elderly. Unusual rain and flood patterns threaten homes, agriculture, and infrastructure. Extended droughts jeopardize water and food security in southern Europe, as the AP reported.

What's being done about Europe's rising temperatures?

While the outlook seems grim, there are solutions, and Europe is making progress, as the news service detailed. The EU and member states have considerably advanced their understanding of climate risks and how to prepare for them.

Storm surge defenses have prevented major coastal flooding disasters for 60 years, according to an expert cited by the AP. Cities are improving urban planning to provide more green spaces and cooling centers during heat waves, per the World Economic Forum. Lawmakers are collaborating with regional and local authorities on climate resilience initiatives.

What can I do to curb Europe's rising temperatures?

As an individual, you have the power to reduce your climate-harming carbon footprint while pushing for broader changes.

Simple daily actions like biking, eating more plants, saving energy at home, and reducing waste all add up.

Supporting leaders and policies that prioritize pollution reductions and climate adaptation is also key. The more we work together to cut pollution and prepare for impacts, the better off we'll all be.

Our homes, health, and economies depend on the steps we take today to secure a stable climate tomorrow. Solutions exist, but our window to avoid the worst is shrinking fast.

Let's heed this wake-up call and accelerate action across Europe and beyond.

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