Due to Climate Change, frequencies of extreme weather events such as floods, droughts and heat waves are expected to increase in the future. The JRC works on predicting and making impact assessments of such events.
To increase preparedness for floods, the JRC studies how present and future climate may impact flood risk, using high-resolution regional climate information, pan-European hydro-morphological datasets, hydrological modelling techniques and statistical analyses. Flood warnings are made through its European Flood Awareness System (EFAS).
Similarly, the JRC has developed the European Drought Observatory (EDO) to monitor, assess and forecast droughts and their impacts on society and the environment. Drought hazard and risk under current and future climates are analysed using high-resolution climate information, modelling techniques and statistical analyses with a focus on Europe, Africa and Latin America. The JRC further actively contributes to the development of a Global Drought Information System (GDIS).
Desertification and drought
The JRC studies how climate fluctuations influence forest distribution by monitoring and processing models of tree species. It analyses potential trends of forest changes using future climate change projections simulated by Global Climate Models, and collects and re-processes temperature and precipitation data to create bioclimatic factors which are used to develop future suitability maps.
Forest fire events
Forest fires occur regularly all over Europe and it is very likely that the damage they cause will be even greater in the future. The JRC evaluates the effects that changes in land use, land cover, climate change, or other socioeconomic factors have had on forest fires during past decades and will have in the future, in particular on vegetation and landscape. Using the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) database, the JRC maps large fire events and analyses their history (frequency, density, incidence, seasonality) and trends over the past 20-30 years.
The JRC produces montly crop yield forecasts at a European level using the MARS Crop Yield Forecasting System driven by agro-meteorological data and assisted by remotely sensed observations. Moreover, the crop modelling infrastructure based on the Biophysical Model Application (BioMA) platform allows the JRC to analyse climate change impacts on agricultural productivity under future emission scenarios and to evaluate adaptation measures to mitigate negative impacts on crop yield and production.
Climate Change Research