In 2004, two important reports appeared. The European Environment Agency (EEA) published its report on “Impacts of Europe’s Changing Climate, an Indicator-Based Assessment”, updated the information and findings reported by the IPCC at the European scale. On water, it states “….therefore, water availability will change over Europe in the coming decades.” In October 2004 the Arctic Council under the work of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment published its report “Impacts of a Warming Climate”. They conclude that climate warming in the Arctic region will dramatically
impact the land, flora, fauna, mammals and indigenous people of the region. They additionally point out that the Northwest Passage is likely to be open again in the warming seas at least during the summer months.
With this new report on “Climate Change and the European Water Dimension (JRC, 2004) the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission contributes to the focused evaluation of the possible impact of climate change on water resources and quality in the European inland and marine/coastal waters. It is obvious that in many aspects we do not have sufficient information to be absolutely confident of some conclusions, but it is, in our opinion, necessary to make an effort at assessment now by compiling and evaluating existing scientific knowledge. In any case we dare to say that the evidence of change is already overwhelming and it may be critical that we act now to secure these natural resources for the future. I hope that this report serves as a useful input to further discussions and decisions taken in respect to the
sustainable utilization and management of European water bodies being exposed to substantial pressures arising from the climate change phenomenon.