Northern European cities to be as hot as Australia by 2050, scientists say

What will the climate be like in cities in northern Europe in the coming decades? Much hotter, according to a new study on how climate change is affecting the world, which concluded that Paris and Berlin will both be as hot as Australia in 2050.

Northern European cities to be as hot as Australia by 2050, scientists say
Photo: AFP

Berlin could regularly receive temperatures as high as those in the Australian capital of Canberra in the future, new research by ETH Zurich has found.

By 2050 the maximum temperature in the warmest month in Berlin will likely increase by 6.1C, researchers say. That means the German capital will see a mean annual increase of 1.8C, making the climate most similar to current day Canberra.

And the same could be said of the French capital Paris.

Scientists say Paris and Lyon will both be at hot as Australian capital Canberra by 2050, while Marseille will have a climate similar to current-day Algiers.

The data models the maximum temperature of the warmest month for a city, plus the average temperature for the year.

So for Paris the prediction is for a rise of 6.1C for the warmest day and a 1.4C rise to the average annual temperature.

Last month's heatwave saw temperatures of 39C recorded in Paris with a 'feels like' temperature of 41 due to the heat sink effect. So based on this model, Paris could be seeing temperatures of 45.1C – feeling like 47.1C – by 2050.

In Lyon the hottest temperature is forecast to rise by 6.7C and the average by 1.8C, while Marseille is predicted to show a 5.2C rise for the hottest temperature and a 1.3C average rise, giving it a climate similar to the temperatures currently seen in Algiers.

READ ALSO: Climate crisis – The parts of France most at risk from rising sea levels

According to the forecast London will be as hot as Barcelona, Manchester will have the climate of Montevideo in Uruguay, Leeds will feel like Melbourne in Australia and residents of Birmingham will feel like they are living in modern day Paris – only temperature-wise of course.

To illustrate the findings, the Crowther Lab in Switzerland created an interactive map that pairs one city’s future climate conditions with current ones.

In the southern European city of Spain things will feel even hotter with temperatures in 2050 akin to those of Marrakesh in Morocco today.

The Swedish capital of Stockholm will have the same climate as central Europe's Budapest does today and Copenhagen will feel like Paris does in 2019.

“The point of this paper is to try to allow everyone to get a better grasp on what's happening with climate change,” lead author Jean-François Bastin told AFP.

Bastin, who is from Belgium, told the news agency it was not certain that by 2060 his country would experience sub-zero temperatures in winter, a necessary condition for wheat seeds to become activated.

As summer temperatures surge, more people in northern Europe will purchase air conditioners, adding to the strain on electric grids and potentially creating a vicious cycle, he added.

But straight comparisons between cites do not tell the full picture of climate change, said Markku Rummukainen, a climate researcher with Swedish meteorological agency SMHI.

“Comparisons can give a sense of what changes to the climate mean. But at the same time, you should keep in mind that the changes are more complex than just the temperature. If you just think that Stockholm is getting a Budapest climate, you might think 'that doesn't sound so awful'. But in reality the problem is much more serious,” Rummukainen told Swedish news wire TT.

“When you get changes in climate, this can have effects on the buoyancy of the ground for example, flood risk and water resources, which can lead to further problems,” he added.

READ ALSO: Climate crisis threatens Viking, ancient sites in Greenland

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Central and southern Italy brace for storms and heavy snow

Storms and snowfall are forecast across much of central and southern Italy over the next few days, according to weather reports.

Snow is forecast in the hills of much of central and southern Italy.
Snow is forecast in the hills of much of central and southern Italy. Photo: Miguel MEDINA / AFP

Italy’s Civil Protection Department on Monday issued ‘orange’ alerts for bad weather along Campania’s Tyrrhenian coastline and the western part of Calabria, while Sicily, Basilicata, Lazio, Molise, Umbria, Abruzzo, central-western Sardinia, and the remaining areas of Campania and Calabria are under a lower-level ‘yellow’ weather warning.

The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts is warning Italy’s central-southern regions to prepare for a blast of polar air from the Arctic Circle that will bring heavy snowfall, rain and storms, reports national weather forecaster Il Meteo.

The village of Grotte di Castro in the province of Viterbo, two hours’ drive north of Rome, mountainous parts of Sardinia, and much of the province of Campobasso in the central-eastern region of Molise were already blanketed in snow on Monday morning.

The department is responsible for predicting, preventing and managing emergency events across the country, and uses a green, yellow, orange and red graded colour coding system for weather safety reports.

An orange alert signifies a heavy rainfall, landslide and flood risk, while a yellow alert warns of localised heavy and potentially dangerous rainfall.

The current meteorological conditions mean that snow is expected to reach unusually low altitudes of around 450-500 metres, with flakes already falling thickly on parts of the southern-central Apennines mountain range at 500-700 metres altitude.

The hills of Marche, Abruzzo, Molise, Lazio, Sardinia, Campania, Calabria and Basilicata are likely to see heavy snow around the 500m mark, while areas at an altitude of 1000m or higher will see between 50-60 cm of fresh snow.

Affected parts of the country could see 50-60cm of snowfall.

Affected parts of the country could see 50-60cm of snowfall. Photo: Vincenzo PINTO /AFP

In areas where the snow is unlikely to reach, heavy rains and thunderstorms are anticipated, with rain forecast throughout Sardinia, Campania, Calabria and Lazio, reports Il Meteo.

Strong winds are forecast over the whole country, with the island regions of Sicily and Sardinia facing windspeeds of over 100km/hour and the risk of storm surges, according to the national newspaper La Repubblica.

READ ALSO: Climate crisis: The Italian cities worst affected by flooding and heatwaves

The north of the country, meanwhile, will see sun but low temperatures of below 0°C at night in many areas, including across much of the Po Valley.

While conditions are expected to stabilise on Tuesday, cold currents from Northern Europe are forecast to trigger another wave of bad weather on Wednesday and Thursday, with Sardinia and Italy’s western coastline again at risk of storms and heavy rainfall that will move up towards Lombardy, Emilia Romagna and Veneto in the north.