Climate Change

Global warming is a worldwide threat, though not many people know that the most threatened of all continents is indeed Europe. The evidence is brought by the consequences of past climatic changes and interchanges of glacial and interglacial periods, which left Europe depleted of species of plants and animals significantly more than other continents.

A firefighter stands next to the forest fire in Comboa in north-western Spain. Due to climate changes forest fires in southern Europe have been increasing in recent years. Photo:

That is why there are six times more tree species in East Asia and twice as many in the east of America than in Europe.

A similar situation exists with animals. The position of the Alps and the Mediteranean sea does not allow species of animals endangered by extensive temperature change, to migrate southwards and, during the warmer seasons, back towards the north. Therefore Europe is much more concerned about stopping the global warming than other parts of the world.

An average temperature rise of 3 degrees Celsius would mean that the territories of individual species would have to move about three to four hundred kilometres northwards. A number of species are not able to migrate long distances, hence further global warming would be fatal for them. Organisms that are able to migrate are faced with another inconquerable obstruction – fragmentation of biotopes, which are not connected by functional biocorridors. Global warming is not just a threat for the future, even at present we can already witness more frequent and more devastating floods and expanding deserts.

To stop the global warming we mainly need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in energy and traffic. It is also necessary to adopt certain austere measures such as energy saving, supporting alternative resources like solar energy, thermodymamic heating, geothermal energy and natural gas. It’s a necessity to adopt an active approach in reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. One of the most efficient ways of doing so is planting of trees and expansion of forests. An average size tree absorbs 12 kilograms of carbon dioxide every year and a medium forested hectare 3.5 tons.

Rescue workers use a small dinghy to transport people on a street of Raabs a.d.Thaya, Austria 2006. Due to climate changes the floods in Europe are becoming more frequent/Removing debris after the storm in Budapešť, Hungary 2008. In many European countries hurricanes in recent years caused billions-worth of damage. Due to climate changes they are becoming more frequent. Photo:

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