A climatologist suggests that rising temperatures in the Mediterranean could turn northern European countries, such as Belgium, into tourism hotspots.
1. South vs North
Xavier Fettweis, climatologist and Professor at the University of Liège, Belgium, was speaking to RTL, local media, when he noted that increasing temperatures in the south of Europe will render the region less and less attractive as a holiday destination. As temperatures in Spain, Italy and France continue to rise, Fettweis said, more and more people would find milder climates in the North of Europe.
2. Extreme heat and wildfires
Fettweis gave the example of the 45°C temperatures that France experienced last summer as an increasingly likely climate for countries along the Mediterranean. “We are going to have almost completely dry summers,” he said.
The climate of the Sahara will go up to the Mediterranean and therefore it will be too hot, with a maximum risk of forest fires.Xavier Fettweis, climatologist and Professor at the University of Liège, Belgium
Wildfires in Europe have become increasingly frequent and intense in recent years, largely due to a combination of climate change, land use changes and other factors.
The Belgian climatologist suggested that going up north during the hottest months of the year will likely be a choice for may travellers. In Belgium, he said, summers will become much sunnier and drier: “The Ardennes, for example, will have a perfectly acceptable climate.”
3. Climate adaptation
Fettweis said that rising temperatures everywhere are a reality that the world must face: “By 2030, 2040, we will see 50°C arrive in places,” he said. “It happens much faster than we think and we will have to adapt.” At European level, the European Commission has developed a strategy on climate adaptation, aimed at increasing the resilience of EU countries and their citizens to the impacts of climate change. This strategy, known as the EU Adaptation Strategy, was first adopted in 2013 and updated in 2021. The EU’s strategy includes a range of policies and initiatives to support climate adaptation efforts in Europe but requires collaboration and coordination between different levels of government, civil society, and the private sector.