17 Oct 2021

2070: Europe’s scorching heatwave #OurClimateFutures

This video is part of Our Climate Futures – a project which takes real science to forecast what impacts and changes humanity may face as the climate crisis unfolds. This is not a news story. At least not yet.

The year is 2070 and the world has kept global temperature rise to a minimum. But even with that immense effort, heatwaves are still increasing to a point where some European cities are barely habitable.

Climate change is hard to predict. But one thing scientists say is certain is that, even if global targets are met, the world’s weather is set to become more extreme.

This story is already playing out: more intense wildfires in California, Greece and Siberia, and unprecedented floods in Germany and China.

But as these meteorological extremities become the norm, we wanted to imagine how these changes may impact people’s lives in the future.

The UN’s climate science body, the IPCC, says that even at 1.5C warming, heatwaves in Europe are set to increase, along with deaths caused by them.

The southern Mediterranean is expected to be especially changed, with increasing heat and drought. A village near Nimes already broke the French heat record in 2019 when it exceeded 45C.

Cities often suffer the worst of heatwaves, and many will need to adapt to be liveable as climate change marches throughout this century.

Watch the video above to hear from experts on the science behind the story. Or find out more about Our Climate Futures here.