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Heatwave warning for 2070

As snow sweeps country, scientists warn deadly heatwaves will form an average summer as climate change progresses

THE PARIS of 2070 will have the same climate as Seville today, according to French scientists.

The Observatoire national sur les effets du réchauffement climatique (Onerc) has published predictions that the capital will not suffer the cold winters currently buffeting the streets, but will be subject to a milder sunnier climate.

However, it adds that deadly heatwaves, like the one that struck Europe in 2003, killing between 10,000-15,000 people in France alone, will become more common.

"The summer of 2003 will be the average by 2070, meaning, one summer in two will be hotter," said Météo-France researcher Stéphane Hallegatte, presenting the figures yesterday.

While such heatwaves have been marked by the number of deaths, the general impact of hotter summers would be felt more widely, he said.

"People forget there are consequences beyond a higher death rate. There are delays in public transport, the breakdown of air-conditioning, small shops losing customers to bigger air-conditioned centres," added Mr Hallegatte.

Based on a rise in average temperatures of 3.5 degrees between now and 2070, the north of France will enjoy a Mediterranean type of climate, however, unlike urban areas around the Mediterranean, most towns and cities are not prepared for this.

Flash floods and subsidence are just some of the problems they will face, the report says.

THE east and centre of France are on orange alert for snow. The Côtes d'Armor, Vienne, Haute-Vienne, Creuse, Charente, Dordogne and Corrèze departments could see difficult driving conditions.

Photo: Jose Ignacio Soto - Fotolia.com

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