Climate 2050: what can we expect?

Global warming is no longer a distant threat, but a reality for which France must already prepare. According to projections by Météo France, our country will experience major climatic upheavals by mid-century. Rising temperatures, recurring droughts, deadly heatwaves, devastating floods… Here’s what the French can expect in the coming decades.

Une hausse généralisée des températures

By 2050, in a median scenario, the average annual temperature in mainland France will have risen by 1.7°C compared to the 1976-2005 reference period. In reality, however, this national average masks major regional disparities.

Warming will present a clear south-east/north-west gradient across France. As a result, the rise in average temperatures will be less pronounced in Brittany (+1.1 to +1.4°C depending on the sector) than in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region (+1.6 to +2.2°C).

In concrete terms, this means that in the future, Rennes will experience a climate similar to that of Bordeaux today, while Marseille will experience scorching summers comparable to those of Barcelona today. A climatic shift of around 200 to 300 km to the north is to be expected for most French regions.

Heat waves on the increase

One of the most striking consequences of rising temperatures will be a significant increase in the frequency and intensity of summer heat waves. According to Météo France, very hot spells could be up to 5 times more frequent than at present in some regions, particularly inland in the south and southeast.

By way of example, a heatwave of comparable intensity to that of the summer of 2003, which caused 15,000 deaths in France, could occur every other year by 2050 in the most exposed regions. Tropical nights, with temperatures not dropping below 20°C, will also become commonplace during the warmer months.

Faced with this increase in heatwave phenomena, large cities, which are veritable urban heat islands, will be particularly vulnerable. Fragile populations such as the elderly, infants and people suffering from respiratory or cardiovascular pathologies will be the first victims of these repeated heat waves.