Life in 2103: Heatwaves, Disease, and Adaptation in Eure-et-Loir

It is 46 degrees on June 5, 2103. The air is unbreathable. For a long time, the terraces have disappeared near the forecourt, in spring and summer, at the foot of Notre-Dame de Chartres cathedral.

At the heart of the Café Rouge, just opposite the forecourt, the air-conditioned indoor terrace fills up early in the morning. The Chartrains seek a bit of freshness in this glass jar, which consumes so much energy.

Today, we have passed a course, we will only go back with difficulty. Since the beginning of spring, if we can still name this season as such, so much does it no longer correspond to that of a hundred years ago in our Eurelian lands, the temperature records are linked. Five times we have exceeded 40°C since March.

It is a long way from COP 21, in 2015, and its Paris agreement, which wanted to limit the increase in temperatures to 1.5°C or at least contain them to 2°C, at the end of the 21st century. At the start of the 22nd century, we have reached a warming of 4.4°C compared to the pre-industrial era.

And summer hasn’t started yet. What will the Fête de la Musique look like on June 21, 2103? The prefect of Eure-et-Loir, Emma Ménager, has already issued an order to prohibit any gathering outside, in order to avoid discomfort, which would only overload the multipolar hospital center of Chartres, installed at the leaving Lèves, the only establishment remaining in the department, after the closure of those of Nogent-le-Rotrou, Châteaudun and Dreux, and totally saturated by the multiplication of patients allergic to pollens. The phenomenon has more than doubled in a hundred years.

Dengue, zika and chikungunya have become common diseases since the late 2070s

If, in April 2023, the tiger mosquito had not yet crossed the borders of Eure-et-Loir, after arriving in the Alpes-Maritimes, in 2004, it is today very present. Dengue, zika and chikungunya have become common diseases in mainland France since the late 2070s.

Scientific innovations have not managed to evacuate the heat accumulated over the past eighty years. The planting, in 2076, of the Atmosphere park, instead of agricultural land along the RN 10 just before Thivars, had created controversy for nearly three years.

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But this forest of orange trees, a new species established for forty-five years, was not enough to absorb all the CO2 produced by human activity.

Sun sails to deflect the sun’s rays

The sophisticated machines equipped with fans and filters, in order to capture CO2 in the ambient air, installed along the bridge of Mainvilliers, which leads to the sports hall and shows of the Colosseum, did not absorb enough gases Greenhouse effect. Another avenue has been explored.

Remember, in February 2073: about fifty solar sails, these gigantic mirrors, whose purpose is to deflect the radiation of the sun on the Earth, were installed in place of the former André-Gagnon park. This former green lung of Chartres has become an empty plain since all the trees have died, suffering the pangs of repeated heat waves for fifty years.

This technology developed at the dawn of the 2020s is promising. Solar sails have reduced the number of heat waves in Chartres since 2080.

In all the history textbooks written by artificial intelligences, there is mention of this famous heat wave of 2003, this period of very high heat, where for more than three days, the temperatures did not drop below 35°C on day and 20°C at night.

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“It was a very special episode in terms of duration and intensity, which had never been beaten until 2053. This heat wave had lasted two weeks in 2003 and the temperatures at night had not dropped in below 20°C,” recalls a meteorologist robot.

She is so far the heat wave of 2003

The urban heat islands, formed in Chartres, Châteaudun and Dreux, since the trees were cut down in favor of mineral coatings are formidable. The heat can no longer drop in these cities, the multiplicity of multi-storey buildings does not allow fresh air to circulate.

The water is running out in the Beauce aquifer

In 2100, heat waves lasted six days in La Ferté-Vidame, in the north of Eure-et-Loir, and nine days in Mée, in the south of the department. Tropical nights, when the temperature is above 20°C for several nights, have intensified.

Last year, in 2102, we reached twenty-seven tropical nights in Châtillon-en-Dunois, in the south and nineteen nights in Anet, in the north.

This winter, we were able to wear t-shirts. Snow boots and sledges have adorned the Museum of 21st Century Daily Life for twenty years. A witness of a bygone era. There are always episodes of cold, but less frequent and less severe.

The Beauce water table is struggling to fill up. If farmers abandoned irrigation decades ago, the mega-basin installed in Marboué in 2074 is no longer enough. The same amount of water falls throughout the year as in 2023, but it is poorly distributed according to the seasons.

The winter was very wet, but the lack of water is cruel for the coming summer. The average soil moisture in 2100 corresponds to the extreme dry situations of 2023.

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The beech has disappeared from the forest of Senonches

In the forests of Senonches and Dreux, beech and chestnut have disappeared. These two species, which were very present in the Perche and in Normandy at the beginning of the 21st century, needed 800 to 900 mm of rain per year and a constant degree of humidity. They did not resist and disappeared at the end of the 2070s, losing their natural defences.

The forests, cathedrals of oaks, no longer exist. The trees have lost their height and diameter, because they need a lot of water to release 500 liters daily in the form of evaporation.

It must also be said that our forests have not been spared by the fires which are increasing from year to year. The flames set the Dreux forest ablaze for twenty days in 2102.

The plains around Châteaudun, strewn with soybeans and rice, since wheat and barley struggled to grow, suffered the onslaught of fires for thirty days in 2101.

However, the fires of July 25, 2019, which had ravaged 2,000 hectares of fields, from Lèves to Challet, should have alerted us, just like the fire in the forest of Rambouillet, in the summer of 2022.

Planes are all electric

Faced with all this, farmers had to organize themselves and adapt their crops in Eure-et-Loir. Polyculture-breeding, on the scale of the territory and no longer on the scale of a farm, and which meets local food needs, seems to be bearing fruit.

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Exports of food products, from Africa or Asia, have fallen sharply over the past twenty years. This significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Thermal planes have not been circulating for ten years, giving way to electric planes, the first of which flew in September 2022 with nine passengers on board.

If the journey had then lasted only a few minutes, these planes are autonomous today over a thousand kilometres. They are also much quieter.

Story: Claire Béguin

In this projection, we have chosen the RCP 8.5 scenario, i.e. the most pessimistic, which envisages an increase of 4.4°C in 2100.
Scientific data. Drias, the future of climate and Climat HD, Météo France platform.
With the assistance of Alain Lambert, consulting meteorologist and forecaster at Météo France in Bourges (Cher), for the Centre-Val de Loire and Pays de la Loire regions; by Gilles Van Peteghem, Eurelian forest engineer and head of the organizing committee of the XXth.

#Climate #Chartres #hot #June #happen #climate #warmed #4.4C

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