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Europe Rushing Towards Climate Disaster

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HARSH WINTERS MAY END

Scientists have warned that Europe's weather extremes are the result of global warming faster than anywhere else in the world.

While the northern part of the continent will be struck by increasingly wet weather, the south is set to be baked by drier conditions.

The European Environment Agency said governments needed to draw up new strategies to deal with the threat.

If not, it warned, the "lethal threat" of more intense heatwaves, such as that from 2003, and "rising sea levels for centuries to come" would be all too real.

The authors predict that by 2080 cold winters could disappear almost entirely while scorching summers, droughts and heavy rains could be much more frequent.

A report from the European Union agency said: "Europe is warming faster than the global average.

"The temperature has risen by an average of 0.95C in the last 100 years and is projected to climb by a further 2-6.3C this century as emissions of greenhouse gases continue building up."

Britain has experienced the extremes of wet weather this year with the flash floods in Cornwall, and last year 20,000 people died from the acute European heatwave.

Jacqueline McGlade, the agency's executive director, said: "Europe has to continue to lead worldwide efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"But this report also underlines that strategies are needed at European, regional, national and local level to adapt to climate change."

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