Just like the financial crisis the climate crisis will not vanish by waiting
and hoping for the best. Even if greenhouse gas emission reductions were to
succeed in attenuating the extent of climate change in the upcoming decades,
humankind will still have to adapt to committed changes in climate that are
already unavoidable due to historical emissions. Climate change adaptation will
be discussed in the Second Nordic Conference on Climate Change Adaptation, in
Helsinki 29-31 August.
The scientific evidence for on-going anthropogenic climate change is
overwhelming, and impacts of changes over recent decades are already apparent in
the Nordic region as well as in most other regions of the world. Irrespective of
how climate change proceeds, it is wise to develop societal resilience against
extreme weather events, such as record heat waves, heavy precipitation and high
winds. Such extreme events can not only harm the directly impacted area, but
their effects reverberate through trade relations to many countries around the
globe. Therefore, adaptation is important both in the public and
Adaptation is not only needed to avoid harmful effects, but also to reap the
benefits of potentially favourable effects, such as a longer growing season.
Benefits may also be gained from social and technical innovations which can be
commercialised and exported. "Since the development of effective adaptation
strategies and measures takes time, it is important to start now", states
Research Professor Timothy Carter from SYKE.
Conference approaches adaptation from various angles
The conference in Helsinki deals with many aspects of adaptation. Sessions
will cover – among others – local and national adaptation plans in Europe,
climate portals and climate services, economic appraisal, urban planning,
observed changes in the natural environment, future impacts on forests, water
resources, agriculture and human welfare, and scenarios. About 170 oral and
poster presentations together with 8 keynote presentations will provide a good
synthesis of recent research as well as reporting achievements in implementing
adaptation policies. The conference therefore offers attractions both for
researchers and for public and private sector decision makers.
This is the second Nordic International Conference on Adaptation to Climate
Change, continuing the work started in Stockholm in 2010. As previously, the
conference is being organised by climate change research networks funded by the
Nordic Council of Ministers. SYKE and the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI)
are the local host organisations.