European cites said unprepared for flooding risks of global warming

April 29, 2013 at 8:14 PM
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BRUSSELS, April 29 (UPI) -- European cities may have to erect flood barriers as climate change brings storms, floods, heavy rainfall and higher sea levels, a watchdog agency warns.

A report from the European Environment Agency indicates half of its 32 member countries still lack plans to adapt to the effects of global warming, The Guardian reported Monday.

"Adaptation is about new ways of thinking and dealing with risks and hazards, uncertainty and complexity," EEA Executive Director Jacqueline McGlade said. "It will require Europeans to cooperate, to learn from each other and to invest in the long-term transformations needed to sustain our well-being in the face of climate change."

Many cities may have to consider levees such as London's Thames Barrier, officials said.

Prompted by a disastrous sea surge and flooding in 1953 that killed hundreds in Britain and almost 2,000 people in the Netherlands, the barrier was completed in the 1980s.

The barrier has had to be raised more often than planners predicted, at least partly due to climate change, experts said.

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