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Belgium could see extra tourism as climate change makes Mediterranean unbearable

14:18 01/04/2023

Rising temperatures in the Mediterranean could turn northern European countries such as Belgium into tourism hotspots, a climatologist has said.

Speaking to RTL this week, University of Liège climatologist Xavier Fettweis said that the ongoing climate crisis would make southern Europe less and less attractive as a holiday destination.

“We are going to have almost completely dry summers,” he said. “The climate of the Sahara will go up to the Mediterranean and therefore it will be too hot, with a maximum risk of forest fires."

Fettweis gave the example of the 45°C temperatures that France experienced last summer as an increasingly likely climate for countries along the Mediterranean.

But it is an ill wind that blows no one any good, he argued. As temperatures in Spain, Italy and France continue to rise, Fettweis said, more and more people would find milder climates in Europe’s north.

“Why not imagine going up north and back home? Summers in Belgium will become much sunnier, drier,” he said. “The Ardennes, for example, will have a perfectly acceptable climate.”

Although it may seem ghoulish to search for silver linings amid the global climate crisis, Fettweis said that rising temperatures everywhere were a reality that the world had to face.

“By 2030, 2040, we will see 50°C arrive in places,” he said. “It happens much faster than we think and we will have to adapt.”

Written by Paul Millar