Navigation path

Themes
Agriculture & food
Energy
Environment
ERA-NET
Health & life sciences
Human resources & mobility
Industrial research
Information society
Innovation
International cooperation
Nanotechnology
Pure sciences
Research infrastructures
Research policy
Science & business
Science in society
Security
SMEs
Social sciences and humanities
Space
Special Collections
Transport

Countries
Countries
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Finland
  France
  Georgia
  Germany
  Ghana
  Greece
  Hungary
  Iceland
  India
  Ireland
  Israel
  Italy
  Japan
  Kazakhstan
  Kenya
  Korea
  Latvia
  Lithuania
  Luxembourg
  Malta
  Mexico
  Montenegro
  Morocco
  Namibia
  Netherlands
  Nigeria
  Norway
  Peru
  Poland
  Portugal
  Romania
  Russia
  Senegal
  Serbia
  Slovakia
  Slovenia
  South Africa
  Spain
  Swaziland
  Sweden
  Switzerland
  Taiwan
  Tunisia
  Turkey
  Ukraine
  United Kingdom
  United States


   Infocentre

Last Update: 18-01-2012  
Related category(ies):
Innovation  |  Information society  |  Energy

 

Add to PDF "basket"

Finns investigate how climate change is affecting nature

An EU-funded team of researchers in Finland is studying how climate change impacts nature and the various spheres that depend on it, namely agriculture, forestry, fishing and tourism. The study is funded under the VACCIA ('Vulnerability assessment of ecosystem services for climate change impacts and adaptation') project, which is supported by the EU LIFE+ programme. The results of the study will help decision-makers, industry and the general public, and give Finland the support it needs to adapt to a changing climate.

Winter in Finland © Shutterstock
Winter in Finland
©  Shutterstock

Nearly 100 experts from the Finnish Environment Institute, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, and the Universities of Helsinki, Jyväskylä and Oulu are contributing to this study. They predict the climate in Finland will warm more during the winter season instead of the summer season.

During the summer months, Finns will have to deal with more hot days and longer hot periods. Thermal winter, which is the period as determined on the basis of temperature, will become shorter. In their study, the team has put a number of cities, including Helsinki and Lahti, as well as tourist centres like Kuusamo and Sotkamo, in the spotlight. They have also been probing the effects of climate change and the possibilities for change in various environments within the forest, agricultural and water areas. The researchers point out that the tourism sector will have to adapt to the lack of snow and ice across the region.

'Changing rainfall, shorter and warmer winters, as well as a considerable decrease in snow cover could considerably change the preconditions for nature-based tourism in northern Finland,' says Professor Hannu I. Heikkinen of the University of Oulu in Finland, the leader of the project's tourism section. 'Tourism centres in the north, such as Vuokatti in Sotkamo, are already giving thought to whether uncertainties surrounding the winter weather could be reduced by expanding various covered solutions, such as ski tunnels or ice stadiums,' he adds.

'There are plans to produce the energy needed for an artificial winter locally, using ground source heat and bio energy. Another obvious adaptation would be to develop year-round tourism and programme options. This would also improve the tourism sector’s efficiency while evening out stress on the environment and society.'

The team also suggests that as the climate warms, it will be easier to grow higher-yielding species and varieties that need a more extensive growing period. The results of the study will shed light on how climate change is affecting commercial crop selection, production sectors, the use of fertilisers and pesticides, among others.

'Changing weather conditions increase the vulnerability of agriculture,' explains Professor Juha Helenius from the Department of Agronomy at the University of Helsinki. 'Farms have always had to adapt to changing weather conditions but, among farmers, an increase in the variability of growing periods and in the frequency of extreme weather events require increasing financial adaptability to large variations in crops and crop quality.'

Modelling estimates also show how forestry and fishing will be significantly impacted by the changing conditions.


Convert article(s) to PDF

No article selected


loading


Search articles

Notes:
To restrict search results to articles in the Information Centre, i.e. this site, use this search box rather than the one at the top of the page.

After searching, you can expand the results to include the whole Research and Innovation web site, or another section of it, or all Europa, afterwards without searching again.

Please note that new content may take a few days to be indexed by the search engine and therefore to appear in the results.

Print Version
Share this article
See also

EU LIFE+
VACCIA





  Top   Research Information Center