When we speak of "climate adaptation", what is meant is the need for society to adapt to the impacts of a changing climate on the economic, cultural and life-supporting functions of the environment in which human beings live and act. Some types of impacts are caused by purely physical processes — such as the effects of changing temperatures and precipitation on snow conditions at ski resorts — while many others are mediated by the behaviour or functioning of living organisms, sometimes referred to as ecosystem services. Examples include changes in the supply of resources such as food, water, forest products and genetic material. Ecosystems also influence the impacts of damaging or stressful weather events such as floods, storms and heat waves on humans, animals, crops and infrastructure.
Project 3 supports Mistra SWECIA by developing tools for the assessment of climate change impacts and applying them to describe potential future changes within the context of the Common Scenario Framework — socio-economic development and policy assumptions for the coming century and their associated changes in climate and economic systems as assessed within our (climate) and (climate-economy).
- Work Package 3.1 explores impacts on human health and populations associated with historical weather, especially extreme events such as droughts and heat waves. The results may feed into the description of climate-economy interactions in Project 2.
- Work Package 3.2 focuses on the large-scale changes in agricultural and forest production, ecosystem carbon balance and land use, providing a global context for the regional- and sector-based impact assessment to be carried out within the MISTRA-SWECIA case studies [link to: case studies]. A further aim is to provide an internally-consistent description of the land surface and greenhouse gas exchange as input data to the global climate modelling to be carried out in Project 1.
- Work Package 3.3 is concerned with the impacts of climate and socio-economic change on specific sectors at the regional scale of, for example, a municipality, county or Sweden as a whole. The research forms part of the Mistra SWECIA case studies and provides scientific input to the exploration of adaptation strategies in a dialogue with and among stakeholders from relevant sectors spearheaded by Project 4. Case Study No 1, focusing on the Stockholm region, will particularly address impacts on water resources and damages associated with extreme rainfall and high water levels. Case Study No 2, currently under planning, will concern the impacts of climate change on forestry.