Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New study predicts severe and prolonged droughts in Europe

17.01.2014
Large sections of Europe will have to adjust to severe and prolonged periods of draught as well as to declining water levels in rivers.

This is the result of a recently concluded study in which a research group from Kassel University also participated. Climate change is just one of the causes for these developments. The implications are far-reaching – from agriculture to the operation of nuclear power plants.

Water will become increasingly scarce particularly in Southern Europe in the course of the 21st century according to the analysis presented in the study. Streamflow discharges will decrease significantly not only in Spain, Portugal and Italy, but also in southern France and in the Balkans – in some regions as much as 40%.

The study, which has just been published in the journal “Hydrology and Earth System Sciences”, predicts more pronounced periods of drought with up to 80% higher deficits in streamflow. Even regions where other studies have predicted increased precipitation due to climate change may suffer from hydrological droughts and falling water levels due to increases in water consumption, which have also been considered in the present study. Large sections of Germany are included in these regions.

“In many scenarios regarding water availability, attention is only given to the effects of climate change,” explains Dr. Martina Flörke, leader of the research group “Global and Regional Dynamics – Water” at the Center for Environmental Systems Research (CESR) at Kassel University. “But there are other factors that can have a comparable effect and exacerbate water scarcity, such as population growth or increases in water consumption.”

For this reason, the group's scenario includes data and prognoses regarding climate change together with predictions about water consumption throughout Europe. In addition to Flörke, the Kassel scientist Florian Wimmer and other researchers from the Institute for Environment and Sustainability in Ispra, Italy, were involved.

The scenario that has been developed by the scientists extends to the end of the 21st century. In developing it, they made use of data from previous studies. Regarding climate change, the authors have taken a middle approach using a figure of 3.4 degrees increase in average global temperature. Regarding the question of water consumption, they are more pessimistic and have included assumptions of a drastic increase in water use.

“In politics, in business and generally in the society in the countries of Europe, strategies to cope with growing water scarcity must be developed,” explains Flörke. “This of course directly affects the agricultural sector and the general water supply for the population, but also areas such as river-based transport and power plants that are cooled with river water must be considered.” In the past 20 years, costs attributable to drought in Europe amounted to €6.2 billion per year, according to the study. These costs could very well rise in the future.

Link to the study:
www.hydrol-earth-syst-sci.net/18/85/2014/hess-18-85-2014.html
Contact:
Dr.-Ing Martina Flörke
Universität Kassel
Center for Environmental Systems Research
Tel.: +49 561 804-6120
E-Mail: floerke@usf.uni-kassel.de

Sebastian Mense | idw
Further information:
http://www.uni-kassel.de
http://www.uni-kassel.de/uni/nc/universitaet/nachrichten/article/studie-sagt-schwerere-und-laenger-anhaltende-duerren-in-europa-voraus.
http://www.hydrol-earth-syst-sci.net/18/85/2014/hess-18-85-2014.html

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Volcanic eruption masked acceleration in sea level rise
26.08.2016 | National Science Foundation

nachricht Biomass turnover time in ecosystems is halved by land use
23.08.2016 | Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Streamlining accelerated computing for industry

PyFR code combines high accuracy with flexibility to resolve unsteady turbulence problems

Scientists and engineers striving to create the next machine-age marvel--whether it be a more aerodynamic rocket, a faster race car, or a higher-efficiency jet...

Im Focus: X-ray optics on a chip

Waveguides are widely used for filtering, confining, guiding, coupling or splitting beams of visible light. However, creating waveguides that could do the same for X-rays has posed tremendous challenges in fabrication, so they are still only in an early stage of development.

In the latest issue of Acta Crystallographica Section A: Foundations and Advances , Sarah Hoffmann-Urlaub and Tim Salditt report the fabrication and testing of...

Im Focus: Piggyback battery for microchips: TU Graz researchers develop new battery concept

Electrochemists at TU Graz have managed to use monocrystalline semiconductor silicon as an active storage electrode in lithium batteries. This enables an integrated power supply to be made for microchips with a rechargeable battery.

Small electrical gadgets, such as mobile phones, tablets or notebooks, are indispensable accompaniments of everyday life. Integrated circuits in the interiors...

Im Focus: UCI physicists confirm possible discovery of fifth force of nature

Light particle could be key to understanding dark matter in universe

Recent findings indicating the possible discovery of a previously unknown subatomic particle may be evidence of a fifth fundamental force of nature, according...

Im Focus: Wi-fi from lasers

White light from lasers demonstrates data speeds of up to 2 GB/s

A nanocrystalline material that rapidly makes white light out of blue light has been developed by KAUST researchers.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

The energy transition is not possible without Geotechnics

25.08.2016 | Event News

New Ideas for the Shipping Industry

24.08.2016 | Event News

A week of excellence: 22 of the world’s best computer scientists and mathematicians in Heidelberg

12.08.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Symmetry crucial for building key biomaterial collagen in the lab

26.08.2016 | Health and Medicine

Volcanic eruption masked acceleration in sea level rise

26.08.2016 | Earth Sciences

Moth takes advantage of defensive compounds in Physalis fruits

26.08.2016 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>