23.09.2021 Europe

Paris increasingly threatened by heatwaves, floods

© AFP/Ludovic Marin
LISTEN SEP 23, 2021
© AFP/Ludovic Marin

The French capital is at risk of recurrent heatwaves and more frequent flooding because of climate change, according to a study conducted for the Paris City Hall.

In the years to come, "the volume of rainfall should increase slightly and the number of rainy days should decrease, with an increase in rainfall and, therefore, greater risks of flooding," the City Hall explained in its report on Paris and climate change.

Global warming in Paris, where the temperature have already risen by 2.3°C compared to the pre-industrial era, is increasing the risk of ten-year floods by 20% and the risk of one hundred-year floods by 40%.

Risk of pollution

A major flooding episode in the Paris region "would be likely to destroy or disrupt certain vulnerable infrastructure" and would threaten water quality, with a signifcant risk of pollution for 1.3 million subscribers in habitants from over burdened infrastructure like the sewage network, with 20% of the treatment plants located in flood-prone areas.

By the second half of the 21st century, the Seine could see its flow decrease by 10 to 30%, warned Célia Blauel, deputy in charge of the river and city resilience, during a press briefing.

As a result of rising temperatures, the number of hot days could  also rise from 13 in 2010 to 34 in 2085, according to the same source.

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