Knowledge Base and Vulnerability Assessment
For successful and efficient programming of both the strategy and the action plan for adapting the Baltic Sea Region to climate change, it is necessary to provide the best possible knowledge base. The project does so by establishing a knowledge brokerage process between researchers and end users, i.e. political decision makers. The establishment of a Baltic Window, a one-stop-shop information portal compiling all available information in the Baltic Sea Region, shall play a crucial role in this process. Baltadapt identifies and reviews current existing knowledge and assesses future impacts on natural and human systems as well the Baltic Sea Region’s vulnerability to climate change. The three major problem areas covered by Baltadapt are 1) regional climate information, 2) the Baltic Sea ecosystem and 3) the coastal zone.
Regional climate information
Baltadapt identifies state-of-the-art knowledge on Baltic Sea regional climate change including sea level rise, frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events and increase of temperature leading to migration of species as well as their potential impact on both the marine ecosystem and coastal areas. The synthesis builds on available data from regional climate change modelling as well as meteorological records of past weather extremes.
The Baltic Sea ecosystem
Climate change will increasingly drive marine ecosystems and biodiversity loss, affecting individual species and significantly impacting ecosystems and their related services, on which society depends. Unsustainable use of the sea (e.g. overfishing) has rendered marine ecosystems and socioeconomic systems more vulnerable to climate change and thus less capable of adapting.
Baltadapt aims at identifying the relevant information for designing appropriate adaptation measures and knowledge gaps that need to be closed.
The coastal zone
The EU White paper points out that the resilience of coastal areas needs to be increased. While sea level rise is a threat for some coastal infrastructure (cities, streets, railways etc.) measures taken to protect coastal areas from sea level rise might on the other side jeopardize the ecosystem.
Baltadapt reviews the impact of climate change on coastal zones’ environmental conditions as well as on coastal uses and functions and strategies and management options.