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Climate Change Could Spell Disaster For Tourist Hotspots In The Mediterranean

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A new report published by the European Commission (EC) paints a dramatically different scenario in the continent wherein popular holiday destinations in Spain and in the Mediterranean could see more for forests fires and droughts as consequences of global warming.

Climate experts from the Joint Research Center (JRC) studied the effects of the continuing changes in the Earth's climate in their latest report to the commission.

The center predicts that as areas in Europe start to become more and more inhospitable when it comes to their changing seasons, tourists will likely change the timing, length and even their holiday destinations.

The JRC report found that Bulgaria and Spain are two of the countries that will most likely be affected by the disruptions in the climate, while countries in northern Europe, such as Slovenia, Estonia, Slovakia and Latvia, are likely to benefit most from these occurrences.

Researchers from the center said that the changing conditions of the climate could potentially impact the relative appeal of many European regions.

As far as the current conditions of the economy go, the expected climate in the 2100 could lower revenues from tourism by as much as 0.45 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) every year for European Union (EU) regions in the Mediterranean, while the remaining EU regions located in northern Europe could possibly gain as much as 0.32 percent of their GDP.

The report combined estimates of travel cost and accommodations with a projected temperature increase of two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) this century.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), such a rise in temperature could result in more frequent forest fires, droughts and desertification. It could also lead to widespread animal deaths in the region caused by disease.

With European summers becoming drier and hotter, especially in southern regions, the JRC researchers forecast that tourists will take shorter vacations and plan their future holidays outside of the regular peak season.

"One could expect that tourists would distribute their holiday pattern more evenly during the year and take shorter holidays in order to benefit, for instance, from more clement weather conditions during the other seasons," the JRC researchers said.

Photo: Tim J Keegan | Flickr 

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