Athens will be the worst affected of all European capitals from future droughts and heatwaves according to a new scientific study.
Researchers at Newcastle University used all the available climate models (based on three scenarios) to predict how weather patterns will evolve into 571 European cities by 2050 or 2100.
They used three scenarios to analyze the future impact of floods, droughts and heatwaves.
The study predicts higher temperatures and worse heatwaves in all 571 cities (even with the most optimistic of the three scenarios), increased drought especially in southern Europe and worse floods, especially in north-western Europe.
It predicts that some areas of the European South may experience droughts up to 14 times worse than today.
“Although southern European regions are adapted to cope with droughts, this level of change could be beyond breaking point,” Dr Selma Guerreiro, lead author, explains.
The five cities with the largest projected increases in drought are Athens, Lisbon, Madrid, Nicosia and Sofia.
The five cities with the largest increase in heatwaves are expected to be Athens, Nicosia, Prague, Rome and Sofia.
Five Greek cities (Athens, Patras, Heraklion, Kalamata and Piraeus) are in the highest five percent of European cities at risk of both extreme droughts and heatwaves.
The study was published at Environmental Research Letters.