Europe’s natural ecosystems are generally fragmented and disturbed, making them very sensitive to climate change.  Most of Europe experienced temperature increases this century that are larger than the global average and precipitation generally increased in the north but decreased in the south.  The warming is clearly noticeable in mountain regions by the widespread retreat of glaciers in the Alps.  Plant and animal species are also apparently responding to the changes by shifting their ranges northward and by changing the timing of their activities to coincide with an earlier spring. The fragmented nature of the European landscape, however, may make it difficult for less adaptive species to respond to continued climatic warming.


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