Europeans adapting to the realities of a disrupted climate
While Americans quibble ignorantly over whether climate change is really happening, Europeans are already adapting to it. Swedish foresters are being told to plant trees that will thrive in warmer temperatures. Planners of a new subway system in Copenhagen, Denmark, raised all structures to accommodate an anticipated 1.5-foot rise in sea level over the next century. New docks in Hamburg, Germany, and Rotterdam, Netherlands, are also being built with rising oceans in mind. Austrian ski resorts short on snow are planning hiking trails and golf courses. Jacqueline McGlade, executive director of the European Environment Agency, says Europe’s Arctic and southernmost reaches are especially vulnerable to global warming. Changing conditions may turn people from those regions into climate refugees, forced to move toward the continent’s center. “Our resilience is quite low in the face of climate change,” she says.
Get Grist in your inbox