As global warming takes hold EuroNews takes a look at the impact around Europe. A recent study by the economic research group, the OECD, says climate change poses a serious risk to winter tourism in the Alpine region. It says recent warming there has been roughly three times the global average.
Elsewhere, unseasonable temperatures in the Russian city of St Petersberg are disrupting the hibernation of bears in the local zoo. Lev Karlin of St Petersberg’s Meteorology University says it is a disturbing sight: “The latest figures prove that it’s getting warm really quickly and that does allow us to think man himself is not without blame.”
There is a similar tale in Greece, where temperatures topping 20 degrees have been recorded this January. Last month there was 20 times less rain than normal. Trees in bloom in mid-winter are further evidence the planet is heating up. Cristos Zerefos, President of the Athens National Observatory says maritime ecosystems are also affected: “There are changes that we see in general not only in water but in living species, we see changes that are remarkable in hydrotopes.” Certain species of fish that would normally be found in Aegian waters this time of year have not arrived. The reproduction cycle of others has been interrupted.
On the other side of the Atlantic there has been extreme weather of another kind. The United States has been lashed by a cold snap that has brought freezing temperatures to parts of the continent that rarely see them. A state of emergency has been declared in California where orange crops have been devastated.
Despite what appears to be mounting evidence there is still debate about global warming in the scientific community. But there is a consensus is that effective action to counter climate change needs to be taken now.