Our subevents on ECCA: Demonstrating the effects of climate adaptation measures

"Climate change is considered by many to be the challenge of the 21st century. The urgency and severity of this challenge call for integrated ways of looking at responses to reduce the risks associated with environmental and social stressors, and ensure a secure future for humans and ecosystems. Adapting to climate change requires a coordinated and synergistic approach from a diverse range of actors across sectors, as well as questioning assumptions about the drivers of risk, vulnerability and environmental change." This is what ECCA 2019 will talk about and this is what we will elaborate in our six sessions.

To get more information about the event and to register, click here.

Austria: Demonstrating the effects of climate adaptation measures for the Austrian city of Linz

Urban areas and traffic infrastructure are particularly affected by climate change, thus raising the need for well-founded climate adaptation strategies. The project CLARITY, funded by EU Horizon 2020 Programme, aims at implementing a climate services information system (CSIS) specifically designed to address climate related hazards and to provide climate change adaptation strategies for supporting urban infrastructure development. The CSIS is tested and demonstrated on four study areas in different regional and climatological contexts. In this study, we focus on the Austrian demonstration case that addresses the compound effects of heat waves and urban heat islands in the city of Linz, which under climate change are expected to worsen.

The dynamical urban climate model MUKLIMO_3, developed by the Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD), is used to investigate urban heat island effects and to carry out sensitivity simulations of climate adaptation measures for the city of Linz and its surrounding area. The model simulations, performed at a horizontal resolution of 100m, are based on Copernicus Urban Atlas land cover data combined with local data provided by the city administration of Linz to consider city-specific structures. A dynamical-statistical downscaling method is applied to derive climate indices for long-term historical and future climate periods by combining high-resolution model output with observational data and regional climate projections. 

Model results are used to analyze the current and future climatic situation in the city of Linz in terms of urban heat load. Furthermore, several climate adaptation scenarios are tested with respect to their efficiency in reducing urban heat stress. These include, amongst others, roof greening, increased albedo of roofs and walls, unsealing of surfaces and increased vegetation cover. Depending on the scenario, moderate to strong cooling effects are found as indicated by a reduction in the mean annual number of summer days, hot days and tropical nights.

The main findings obtained in this study are used to demonstrate how urban climate models promote the efficiency assessment of different climate adaptation strategies and how they contribute to climate resilient urban planning.

Sweden: Stockholm as a heat resilient city for the future - the role of climate services in urban planning

While the urban population in Europe is projected to exceed 80 % by 2050, augmented extreme weather events will push the resilience of citizens to its limits. The changing weather calls for efficient adaptation measures.

Within the scope of the co-creation of a Climate Services Information System (CSIS) in the Horizon2020 project CLARITY, and with the support of the Swedish Civil Contingency Agency, SMHI has been cooperating with Stockholm municipality in the calculation and visualization of the effects of heat-waves.

The city's growing need of housing and roads demands for the citizens' wellbeing and health to be safeguarded, while the resilience to climate hazards is strengthened. For this purpose, the impacts of urban development scenarios are investigated, namely the construction of 140 000 new homes by 2030, including one of Europe´s largest urban development areas: the ‘Stockholm Royal Seaport’. The implementation of urban green infrastructure as an adaptation tool is also being assessed through different scenarios.

High resolution climate simulations are carried out at 1 km grid space using a dynamical downscaling technique. The Numerical Weather Prediction system HARMONIE-AROME is applied with lateral boundary data provided by the UERRA-ALADIN reanalysis and surface observations retrieved from the ECMWF MARS archive. Surface/atmosphere fluxes over the city are computed by the Town Energy Balance (TEB) model. This method has been developed and validated in the Copernicus Climate Change Service UrbanSIS.

The summer of 2014, which encompassed a heat wave in the period 5-10 July with daily average air temperature above 26 oC, was selected as baseline for the study. Results show that average temperature increases by 0.45 oC in 2030, with larger differences found in urbanized forest lands. Also, the average cooling currently induced by urban vegetation in Stockholm was estimated as 0.4 oC. In parks (e.g., Observatorietlunden), a strong diurnal cycle leads to night-/daytime average cooling ranging between 3.5 and 0.9 oC, respectively, in the simulated summer period.

Co-created climate services that include user-tailored downscaled urban climate data, in the example of Stockholm, provide new insights for urban planning and development, including landscape architecture and the use of Nature-based Solutions. CLARITY is therefore targeted at delivering innovative and efficient solutions for the adaptation of cities to climate change.

Joint session with the projects BINGO, BRIGAID and NAIAD

BINGO is one of the organizers of ECCA, BRIGAID and NAIAD are other H2020-projects, such as CLARITY. In this session we will talk about research and innovation in Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction, which is a growing field with an increasingly number of projects dedicated to understanding the impacts of climate change and developing solutions to either adapt to or mitigate these impacts. However, one of the most demanding challenges in research and innovation in these (and many other) areas is ensuring the sustainability of the results after the projects’ completion.

How can we extract as much value (ideas, methodologies, products, services) from these results as possible? How to make them self-sustaining? Can they be monetised, further developed, used in other research? How do we reach the end-users? Exploitation strategies aim to answer these questions by defining the results which are exploitable, and not specific for the context of the project itself. Consequently, the exploitation has taken a significant position in research and innovation, as investments on such projects aim to maximise and proliferate the value created through the work developed. Establishing synergies between researchers and other stakeholders is crucial, not only to be aware of the exploitation strategies of other projects and how they can be of use to different projects, but also to understand how one project’s results can be complemented with another project’s results.

Workshop about tools and data for climate resilient cities

On the pre-last day of the conference we will give a workshop where we want to identify key factors promoting the relevance of climate change information for municipalities. After five short presentations, all workshop participants are invited to share their experiences and strategies converning the usability and use of climate change adaptation data and discuss successes and problems encountered in the process. These are the program points:

  • Examining the barriers to using climate projections in local adaptation planning
  • Climate adaptation – information needs and gaps of urban administrations
  • The CLARITY climate service modelling chain supporting urban climate change resilience
  • Using urban climate data to implement adaptation in the City of Munich
  • Communication Strategy for Delivering Effective Climate Services

To get more information about the event and to register, click here.