Science et Vie, one of the magazines I read, is a wonderful source of data. Albeit the fact I am no scientist and I don’t got any scientific degree, I always have been largely interested by hard sciences. It begun with my interest for astronomy.
But with my developing interest in sustainable development and climate change, I am now reading quite a lot of scientific data on biology, climatology and others related sciences.
I do not always understand fully everything, but I guess I get a sufficient grasp of the situation at hand to enable me to make my own mind on those topics and thus to write articles for my studies before and now for elrst.com.
So, Science et Vie, in its issue of April 2007 (pictured above), published a series of articles on how global warming will alter the cycle of seasons in France. Here are the most interesting findings :
1. Impact on seasons and temperatures
According to the data provided by the first article, on pages 62 to 69, by 2070 to 2100, there will be shorter winters and longer summers, and this in all French regions. According to Meteo France, the local weather authority, winters will be two times shorter and summers will be one and half longer.
In the meantime, the average temperatures would increase. Precipitations would also dramatically change. In spring, there would be less and less rain episodes and the North and South region would have the same temperatures. In Summer, drought would become widespread.
French future temperatures would look like current Spanish ones, i.e. much hotter summers would occur. For falls and winters, the article note that there would be less rainy days in fall but more during winters.
2. Effects on biodiversity
The main thing I understood in biology is the food chain and that a small alteration of the food habits of one species change the whole food chain and can seriously endanger it. The change of season cycle would seriously alter both fauna and flora.
3. Effects on human beings, mortality and illnesses
Last but not least, the overthrow of the season cycle would have many impacts on human health. In 2003, France suffered from a heatwave episode and many people died. Most of the 15.000 deaths concerned elderly (81 percent of these people were 75 and more). Currently, death generally occurs more during winters as cold weather increase the illnesses risks.
But by 2050, most deaths would occur during summers as the senior population suffer more from heat (with notably dehydration). By this time, the French population would be much older as now. As an example, the article states there would be 4.5 million people aged of 85 and more, when in 2003, there was only 1.2 million people of this age.
To infer this article, we can note that on the energy needs, Science et Vie concludes that instead of peaks during winters, those would happen more in summers. To them, this would raise the issue of the cooling of nuclear plants as it is now done by rivers. The same rivers that would lack water in the future summers. This is indeed a risk that the French Government and nuclear industry will have to tackle in the years.
- Science et Vie
Issue # 1075 | April 2007
Pages 60 to 79