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Climate change, impacts and adaptation strategies in the Alpine Space: Results from the INTERREG III B project ClimChAlp INTERNATIIONAL CONFERENCE ON MOUNTAIINS.

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Presentation on theme: "Climate change, impacts and adaptation strategies in the Alpine Space: Results from the INTERREG III B project ClimChAlp INTERNATIIONAL CONFERENCE ON MOUNTAIINS."— Presentation transcript:

1 Climate change, impacts and adaptation strategies in the Alpine Space: Results from the INTERREG III B project ClimChAlp INTERNATIIONAL CONFERENCE ON MOUNTAIINS ECOSYSTEMS -- EARLY INDIICATORS OF CLIIMATE CHANGE Padova, Italy April 2008 Sergio Castellari Centro Euro-Mediterraneo per i Cambiamenti Climatici (CMCC) Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) Bologna, ITALY

2  2 February 2007  2 February 2007 (Paris): WG1-AR4 (the scientific basis)  6 April 2007 (Bruxelles): WG2-AR4 (vulnerability, impacts and adaptation)  4 May 2007 (Bangkok): WG3-AR4 (mitigation)  17 November 2007 (Valencia): Sinthesis Report The Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

3 The problem: the climate change Warming of the climate systems is unequivocal. Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007

4 Global Warming is unequivocal Since 1970, rise in:Decrease in:  Global surface temperatures NH Snow extent  Tropospheric temperatures Arctic sea ice  Global SSTs, ocean Ts Glaciers  Global sea level Cold temperatures  Water vapor  Rainfall intensity  Precipitation extratropics  Hurricane intensity  Drought  Extreme high temperatures  Heat waves Since 1970, rise in:Decrease in:  Global surface temperatures NH Snow extent  Tropospheric temperatures Arctic sea ice  Global SSTs, ocean Ts Glaciers  Global sea level Cold temperatures  Water vapor  Rainfall intensity  Precipitation extratropics  Hurricane intensity  Drought  Extreme high temperatures  Heat waves

5 Global mean temperatures are rising Faster with time   Warmest 12 years: 1998,2005,2003,2002,2004,2006, 2001,1997,1995,1999,1990,2000 Period Rate Years  /decade T change from ( ) to ( ): +0,76 ± 0,19  C

6 more precipitation falls as rain rather than snow, especially in the fall and spring. snow melt occurs faster and sooner in the spring snow pack is therefore less soil moisture soil moisture is less as summer arrives the risk of drought increases substantially in summer the risk of drought increases substantially in summer Declining Snow Pack in many mountain and continental areas contributes to drought

7 Snow cover is decreasing Spring snow cover shows 5% stepwise drop during eighties

8 Glaciers and frozen ground are receding Area of seasonally frozen ground in NH has decreased by 7% from 1901 to 2002 Increased Glacier retreat since the early 1990s

9 AR4-IPCC (2007): Projections of Future Changes in Climate low scenario (B1) low scenario (B1) in 2100:1.8°C 1.1°C - 2.9°C (range is 1.1°C - 2.9°C), high scenario (A1FI) high scenario (A1FI) in 2100:4.0°C 2.4°C - 6.4°C (range is 2.4°C - 6.4°C)

10 THE ALPINE SPACE :

11 The warming in the Alpine Space has been larger than the global warming, at least in the last 50 years.The warming in the Alpine Space has been larger than the global warming, at least in the last 50 years. Reduction of snow precipitations. Increase of winter flow (more rain precipitations) Most mountain glaciers are getting smaller. Snow cover is retreating earlier in the spring. Reductions are reported in permafrost, seasonally frozen ground and river and lake ice. Some key points for the ALPINE SPACE from AR4-IPCC (2007):

12  According the AR4-IPCC (2007): the Great Alpine Region is very sensitive to present and future climate change impacts.  We can consider the ALPS a climate change HOT SPOT.  The future climate projections show: A reduction of snow cover at low altitudes. A glacier retreat. A permafrost melting at high altitudes.  Hence the climate change can affect a socio- economic and ecological system such as the Alpine Space already at a critical level, and already vulnerable to natural disasters, demographic pressures and enviromental impacts.

13 CONSEQUENCES OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE ALPINE SPACE Transnational Problem: Transnational Solution! Natural Hazards Economical Hazards

14 Objectives: 1) Develop transnational strategies on risk prevention of climate change and possible adaptatio measures over the Alpine Space. 2) Contribute to the sustainable development in the Alps in sectors of spatial planning, natural hazards, socio-economic activities. INTERREG III B Project – Alpine Space:ClimChAlp “Climate Change, Impacts and adaptation strategies in the Alpine Space” ClimChAlp

15 Web-site:

16 ClimChAlp HISTORY: June 2004: Idea for project and first written contact November 2004: Presentation of first draft at conference in Rosenheim July 2005: Workshop in Augsburg with scientists and designated project partners July - December 2005: Elaboration of project and assembly of partnership December 2005: Application for project February 2006: Approval of project March 2006: March 2006: PROJECT START - Kick off meeting May 2007: “Midterm Conference” (Bolzano) March 2008: Final Meeting (Laufen, Germany) 31 March 2008: END OF THE PROJECT 31 March 2008: END OF THE PROJECT.

17 ClimChAlp Coordinator: Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection Partnership: Partecipation of all Alpine Countries (A,SLO,I,LIE,CH,F,D) about 1 – 4 partner per Country (Ministers, local autorities, agencies) Funds: € 3,54 Milions, ERDF: € 1,71 Mio. Duration: March 2006 – March 2008

18 COORDINATOR: StMUGV - Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection PARTNERS: AUSTRIA: AUSTRIA: 1) BMLFUW - Ministry for Agricolture, Forestry, Environment and Water Economy 2) UBA - National Office for the Environment 3) Regional Office of Carinthia for the protection of the water economy 4) Regional Office of Niederösterreich for Water economy and TerritorialBMLFUW - Ministry for Agricolture, Forestry, Environment and Water EconomyUBA - National Office for the EnvironmentRegional Office of Carinthia for the protection of the water economyRegional Office of Niederösterreich for Water economy and Territorial development development 5) Regional Office of Tyrol for Water EconomyRegional Office of Tyrol for Water EconomyFRANCE: 1) ONERC - Ministry for Ecology and sustainable development 2) Regional Office of Rhone Alp for Environment and Energy 3) Claude Bernard University of Lyon 1ONERC - Ministry for Ecology and sustainable developmentRegional Office of Rhone Alp for Environment and EnergyClaude Bernard University of Lyon 1GERMANY: 1) BfG - Federal Office for Water 2) StMWIVT - Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Infrastructures, Transport and Technology 3) LfU - Bavarian Office for the Environment BfG - Federal Office for WaterStMWIVT - Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Infrastructures, Transport and TechnologyLfU - Bavarian Office for the Environment

19 ITALY: 1)Ministero dell’Ambiente della Tuteal del Territorio e del Mare – Dir. Gen. RAS 2)Regione Autonoma Friuli Venezia Giulia – Direzione relazioni Internazionali Europee e Autonomie Locali 3)Regione Autonoma Valle D’Aosta – Assessorato Territorio ed Ambiente Provincia Autonoma Bolzano – Rip. 30 bacini montani 4) Provincia Autonoma Bolzano – Rip. 30 bacini montani ARPA – Piemonte 5) ARPA – Piemonte LICHTENSTEIN: AWNL - Ministry of Environmental Affaire, Land Use Planning, Agriculture and ForestrySLOVENIA: 1)UIRS - Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of SloveniaUIRS - Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia 2)GeoZS - Geological Survey of SloveniaGeoZS - Geological Survey of SloveniaSWIZERLAND: 1) BAFU - Federal Office for the Environment 2) SLF - Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research - DavosSLF - Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research - Davos

20 Assessment of climate change in the Alps based on historical data and climate models – past and future scenarios Aims of ClimChAlp:

21 Regional models at 20km and 10km: Validation of global and regional models for the Alpine Space

22 Examination of the impacts of climate change on natural hazards and assessment of monitoring instruments

23 Assessment of consequences of climate change on spacial development and economy and adaptation measures.

24 Analysis of current management tools and establishing a basis for further optimisation of reaction possibilities considering changing intensities of natural hazards: Flexible Response Network

25 ClimChAlp consists of Workpackage: WP1: “Transnational project preparation activities” WP2: “Transnational project management” WP3: “Project management” WP4: “Information and Publicity Activities” WP5:“Climate Change and Resulting Natural Hazards” WP6: “Monitoring, Prevention & Management of Specific Effects of Climate Change on Nature” WP7: “Impacts of Climate Change on Spatial Development and Economy” WP8: “Flexible Response Network” WP9: “Synthesis and processing” ClimChAlp

26 ClChAlp RESULTS:

27 SCIENTIFIC REPORTS SCIENTIFIC REPORTS have been finalized on: analysis and validation of climate observations data- sets and climate model projections data-sets, Assessment of natural hazards adaptation to climate change Analysis of socio-economic impacts (socio-economic Implications of Climate Change for Tourism, Transportation and Agriculture) Flexible Response Mechanism over the Alpine Space. A STRATEGIC PAPER has been developed including recommendations to the policy-makers for managing impacts of climate change.

28 The Alps: surface temperatures In the Alps the temperature observations are converging toward a general temperature increase. This warming trend seems to have accelerated during the last decade. The positive temperature trend is confirmed also by: increase of the heat summer days and decrease of the freezing days. Warm period have been detected in the Alps from about 1780 to 1810, 1890 to 1945, and the 1970s onward. 1994, 2000, 2002In the Alpine Space, 1994, 2000, 2002 and 2003 are the warmest years within the last 500 years. up to +2°CThe mean Alpine temperature has increased up to +2°C for some high altitude sites over the period.

29 SWITZERLAND SWITZERLAND: temperature anomaly ( ) ITALY ITALY (Piedmont & Aosta Valley): temperature anomaly ( ) FRANCE FRANCE: annual temperature anomaly ( ) The Alps: surface temperatures

30 More difficulties in the measurements of precipitation over the Alps. Western part of the Alps: increase of winter precipitation by 20-30% for the period ; Southern part of the Alps: decrease of autumn and winter precipitation by 20-40%. The inter-annual and the inter-seasonal precipitation variability is very strong. The Alpine precipitation time series do not indicate significant trends. The expected precipitation increase, consequence of the atmosphere warming is not found in the Alps for the period local fluctuations of the precipitation patterns have been observed. The Alps: precipitation

31 Mean precipitation: Precipitation intensity: % of dry days in a year: ITALY (WESTERN ALPS): ITALY (WESTERN ALPS): analysis of precipitation for No significant trend over the last fifty years. the last fifty years The Alps: precipitation

32 The Alps: mountains glaciers Since 1850, the European alpine glaciers have lost about 30 to 40% in glacierized surface area and around 50% in ice volume. During the decade , glacier mass losses further increased by more than 50% with respect to the secular average for the 20th century. There is also a great local/regional variability: for example, an advancing period has been observed in the European Alps during the decades; this time of glacier advance is also consistent with other regions in the World. The impacts are also greatly varying, depending on the glacier type (valley glacier, hanging glacier, summit glacier).

33 ITALY: ITALY: Alpine glacier progressing and retreating ( ) ITALY: ITALY: Cumulative variation of 104 glaciers ( ) ALPS: ALPS: Annual and cumulated mass balance of 9 alpine glaciers The Alps: mountains glaciers

34 ITALY (Aosta Valley): ITALY (Aosta Valley): The Prè de Bar glacier ITALY (MONTE ROSA): ITALY (MONTE ROSA): Indren Glacier The Alps: mountains glaciers

35 The Alps: snow cover Southern GermanyExample - Southern Germany: a trend toward less lasting snow cover. the number of days with snow cover has decreased markedly at lower and moderate altitudes: 30 – 50% in lower regions (<300 m a.s.l), 10 – 20% at moderate altitudes ( m a.s.l), less than 10% on high ground. SOUTHERN GERMANY: relative Trend in mean duration of snow cover (1951/ /96)

36 The Alps: the global and regional climate models Global Climate Models (GCMs)The Global Climate Models (GCMs) for present and future climate conditions are not appropriate for direct applications on regional scales. In order to study the regional effects (Alps), the results of GCMs have to be downscaled to regional scales. Regional Climate Models (RCMs) Need for adeguate Regional Climate Models (RCMs) for the Alps. In this Project it has been conducted the validation of GCMs and RCMs simulations for different spatial scales focussing on the Alpine Space. These Regional Climate Change Scenarios need to be used for impact studies concerning natural hazards specifically relevant for these alpine environmental conditions.

37 Example: SPATIAL HORIZONTAL RESOLUTIONS (50 km, 20 km and 10 km). Annual precipitation: observations and calculated by the REMO model for 3 different SPATIAL HORIZONTAL RESOLUTIONS (50 km, 20 km and 10 km). The Alps: the global and regional climate models 50 km 10 km 20 km OBSERVATIONS

38 Need to improve the assessment of changes in the magnitude and frequency of climate extremes on the regional scale such as the Alpine region. An analysis of the output of some GCMs and a systematic validation of regional climate models ( RegCM, REMO, HIRHAM, CLM, MM5 and ALADIN ) for the Alpine Space has been carried out. Importance of the GCMs boundary conditions for RCMs. RCMs overestimate the seasonal average precipitation amounts. RCMs can reproduce the monthly mean temperature and daily mean precipitation, but they overestimate the seasonal average precipitation amounts. No single best RCM for the Alpine Space. No single best RCM for the Alpine Space. Also it has been estimated by means of a forest vegetation model the effect of climate change on both land use change and in particular forest biodiversity on the Alpine Space. The Alps: the global and regional climate models

39 The Alps: resulting natural hazards 1) Floods: Intensity and frequency increase of floods have been detected only in some regions of the Alps (e.g. in South Germany). In the future, an increase of winter floods and decrease of summer low waters is expected, as well as an earlier flood peak due to snow melting. 2) Debris flows: In recent years debris flows have tended to originate at higher altitudes in some parts of the Alps, with observed decrease in some medium altitude areas. Increase in the amount of material available close to glaciers and evolution of heavy precipitation patterns could in turn induce local increases in the evolution debris flow activity. 

40 The Alps: resulting natural hazards 3) Avalanche: A change in avalanche hazards in connection with climate change is uncertain, though it is assumed it would follow snow cover evolution. A decrease in avalanche hazards is likely in low and medium altitudes, though, heavy precipitation events might counterbalance this trend by triggering general avalanche situations. 4) Glacial hazards: Loss of stability of the hanging glaciers and the increase of number and size of proglacial lakes as a consequence of glacier retreat and ice temperature increase, seem to be the two main consequences of climate change in the context of glacial hazards. 5) Mass movements: An increased number of rock falls were observed at high altitude during the 2003 heat wave. The degradation of permafrost in steep slopes is a major factor for the reduced stability of rock walls and the rock fall pattern. Increased precipitation might lead to more frequent and extended slopes instabilities.

41 The Alps: Hydrological Models and climate change Climate change is expected to strongly influence the hydrological cycle with consequences also for extreme events (intensity and frequency). A potential global increase in average daily precipitation could produce on the Alpine Space an increased number of floods and disastrous mud avalanches. Then there is a strong need to couple suitable precipitation-run-off models with RCMs. This study shows that, for applications in small river catchments in the Alpine Space, even the RCMs with the highest spatial resolution (10 km) are far too coarse to resolve all relevant processes for extreme precipitation events. A different type of RCMs is needed to resolve the small catchment scale. These models are not yet available.

42 The Alps: climate change impacts on soils erosion There is a lack of studies on soil erosion over the Alpine Space by means of models. This study tries to fill this gap. An integrated analysis of potential and actual soil erosion: strategic role of cover vegetation in keeping soil losses under control in the Alpine space. Almost the whole Alpine space is subject to erosion phenomena. a)about 32% of the Alpine space shows a rather high risk of erosion (> 20 t ha-1 yr-1); b)nearly 50% shows a middle risk (2 – 20 t ha-1 yr-1) c)the remaining 18% a low risk (< 2 t ha-1 yr-1). d)in the high mountain zone, in particular, more than 25% of the territory is interested by very high erosion rates (> 50 t ha-1 yr-1). The model used shows no relevant future raises in erosion rates. However, low variations in soil losses rates are observable.

43 Adaptation will be necessary to address unavoidable impacts The Alps: Adaptation

44 Recommendations for research for impacts and adaptation over the Alps: Any climate change adaptation action needs an adequate analysis of the existing climate data. Need to homogenize the existing climate data-sets available for the Alpine Space. Need for Higher resolution climate models and further analysis of the influence of large scale circulation patterns in the Alpine Space. Methods for correcting uncertainties in model projections have to be developed, tried and tested. Need to maintain the existing glacier observation networks, that can also provide input data for water availability, landscape and tourism issues.  Need to improve the snow cover observation networks, through new methods ( remote sensing and snow cover/climate coupled models).

45  Need for more observations of permafrost and related parameters (air temperature and snow cover pattern), both in steep and gentle slopes (essential for inputs for permafrost models ). Need to increase research on the effects of climate change on mountainous forest vegetation (the potential role of forests as protection against natural hazards in a changing climate). Need to focus the flood data analyses and hydrological studies on rivers and alpine torrents that have direct consequences for the Alpine Space. Need to improve precipitation-runoff models in order to assess the future impact of climate change on floods. floods. Need to continue to assess the potential future evolution of debris flow and torrential floods in the Alps.

46 Need for better hydro-meteorological observation network, better observations in the vicinity of glaciers.. Need to establish/improve more accurate and systematic methods for trend detection and collection of avalanches data. Need for a better observation network (snow pack, meteorology and avalanches) with a good spatial and time density. Need to continue to develop the existing data base on mass movements and rock falls occurring above 2500 m a.s.l as well as the meteorological indicators that are relevant Need to develop permafrost observation on steep rock wall to improve 3D models. Need to consider the potential risks generated from glacial hazards in the Alps (e.g. new lakes dammed by unstable moraines or dominated by potential ice avalanche). Thus need to use the available database and numerical models to evaluate future scenarios of glacial hazards.

47 The Alps – Conclusions Alpine Space is one of the areas most sensitive to climate change in Europe. Both observations and models simulations demonstrate that the Alpine Space is one of the areas most sensitive to climate change in Europe. There is a strong need for more research and observations for the Alpine Space and merging of the different data sets. There is a strong need for more research and observations for the Alpine Space and merging of the different data sets. adequate risk management plansresponse action The scientific community need to be more linked to the stakeholder community and decision-makers in order to plan adequate risk management plans and response action for the Alpine Space.

48 END


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