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Future heat-waves, droughts and floods in 571 European cities


Cities are particularly vulnerable to climate risks due to their agglomeration of people, buildings and infrastructure. Differences in methodology, hazards considered, and climate models used limit the utility and comparability of climate studies on individual cities. In this publication, for the first time, future changes in flood, heat-waves, and drought impacts are assessed for all 571 European cities in the Urban Audit database using a consistent approach. Climate model runs provided the baseline for calculating Low, Medium and High Impact scenarios of each hazard for each city.

The study finds that heat-wave days increase across all cities, but especially in southern Europe, whilst the greatest heat-wave temperature increases are expected in central European cities. For the low impact scenario, drought conditions intensify in southern European cities while river flooding worsens in northern European cities. However, the high impact scenario projects that most European cities will see increases in both drought and river flood risks. Over 100 cities are particularly vulnerable to two or more climate impacts. Moreover, the magnitude of impacts exceeds those previously reported highlighting the substantial challenge cities face to manage future climate risks.

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Published in Climate-ADAPT Dec 10 2018   -   Last Modified in Climate-ADAPT Dec 12 2023

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