Chilling perspectives.

France is threatened by strong global warming, with its procession of heat waves and droughts, if nothing is done quickly to limit greenhouse gas emissions, according to projections published Monday, February 1 by Météo-France.

In the midst of controversy over the level of ambition of the bill resulting from the Citizen's Climate Convention and while a decision is expected this week in the proceedings brought by several NGOs against the State for climate inaction, the worst case scenario studied places mainland France on a trajectory of + 3.9 ° C compared to the average temperature of the reference period (1976/2005).

"An unprecedented acceleration of climate change"

That is to say well beyond the objectives of the Paris Agreement to limit the warming "well below 2 ° C compared to pre-industrial levels", if possible below 1.5 ° C.

However, according to experts, warming since the pre-industrial era is already approaching 1 ° C.

And France, which has pledged to reduce its emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 1990, exceeded the carbon budgets it had set itself.

Météo-France, whose boss Virginie Schwarz recalls in the introduction to this new publication that "all the observations collected on a planetary scale confirm an unprecedented acceleration of climate change", worked with the Pierre Simon Laplace Institute and the European Center of research and advanced training in scientific computing.

From models carried out for the UN, the researchers made projections according to three scenarios of UN experts from the IPCC (controlled greenhouse gas emissions, moderate or not reduced) and at three time horizons - 2050, 2070 and 2100.

The data, posted on, are worked on at the regional level, with the objective of promoting work on adaptation to climate change in the territories.

At the national level, warming is contained, in the three scenarios studied, at around 1 ° C until 2040.

No more "tropical nights"

The trajectories then diverge sharply.

If the increase is stabilized around +1 ° C in a controlled emissions scenario, the increase reaches +2.2 ° C on average in the intermediate scenario and soars to +3.9 ° C on average (and + 4.5 ° C at worst) in the high emission scenario.

The absolute records recorded during the heatwave of summer 2019 - with 46 degrees in the south of France - could then be often exceeded, with an increase in average summer temperatures of 6 ° C.

In the worst scenario, the heat waves would be multiplied by 10.

And even in the hypothesis of controlled emissions, the number of days of heat waves (more than 5 consecutive days at more than 5 ° C above the average) could double.

As for "tropical nights", where the temperature does not drop below 20 ° C and undermines the recovery of the human body, the researchers project that in the worst scenario "at the end of the century, only the mountain areas and the coast de la Manche remain virtually spared while the increase reached 90 days in the most exposed areas ".

No more droughts

For their part, drought episodes increase by 30 to 50% in the medium and high scenarios.

And this, even if the evolution of the precipitation regime is more difficult to predict, expected to increase slightly in winter but sharply decrease in summer (more than 20% in the worst case scenario).

Side extreme weather phenomena, researchers face "uncertainties", but warn about the possibility of increasing the intensity of extreme rains, or strong winds in the northeastern quarter of the country.

Conversely, snow and frost in winter could pass to the rank of memories.

Regionalized projections show an increase in the average annual temperature of up to 6 ° C in certain areas of the Alps and the Pyrenees.

With AFP

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