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Climate change poses increasingly severe risks, EU agency warns

COPENHAGEN, Denmark -  The European Environment Agency says the continent is facing rising sea levels and more extreme weather, such as more frequent and more intense heat waves, flooding, droughts and storms because of climate change.

The Copenhagen-based agency says that its assessment is based on the latest trends and projections on climate change and its impacts across Europe.

Scientists, environmentalists brace for Trump presidency

The European Union body says that observed changes in climate “are already having wide-ranging impacts” on ecosystems, the economy and on human health and well-being in Europe.

Its head, Hans Bruyninckx, said Wednesday that climate change “will continue for many decades to come,” adding the scale and impacts will, among other things, “depend on the effectiveness of implementing our global agreements to cut greenhouse gas emissions.”

The landmark Paris climate agreement, which went into effect in November, provides targets set by each country to reduce its emissions, with the aim of slowing the pace of global warming. But President Donald Trump has said in the past he believes climate change is a “hoax” and that he intends to “cancel” U.S. involvement in the Paris deal.

Meanwhile, the Earth set its third straight record for the hottest year in  2016, and scientists have grown increasingly alarmed by the accelerating rate of polar ice melt and the threat of rising sea levels that could inundate coastlines around the world.

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