Ongoing projects of the Weather and Climate Change Impact Research

CHAMPS (Climate change and Health: Adapting to Mental, Physical and Societal challenges, 2020–2024) examines relationships between weather variables and health using e.g. information on hospital admissions, sickness absences and mortality. Novel results are anticipated on the impacts of solar radiation and its spectrum on seasonal mental health, relevant to other high-latitude regions in changing climate as well. Furthermore, we relate health impacts of weather and climate to information on socioeconomic, demographic and health status and project future health impacts using alternative climate change, socioeconomic and adaptation scenarios. With stakeholders we identify appropriate adaptation responses in the context of broader policy goals. The project is part of Academy of Finland Climate change and health programme, CLIHE. Other consortium partners are THL (coord.), UEF, HY and SYKE. Contact: Reija Ruuhela.

EU-OPERANDUM (Open-air laboratories to manage hydro-meteorological risks, 2018–2022). OPERANDUM aims to reduce hydro-meteorological risks in European territories through co-designed, co-developed, deployed, tested and demonstrated innovative green and blue/grey/hybrid Nature-Based Solutions (NBS), and push business exploitation. It aims provision of research evidence for the usability of NBS and best practices for their design based on participatory processes. It foresees a multiple level of stakeholder engagement from the local community up to the international level to leverage widest possible NBS acceptance to promote its diffusion as a good practice. Moreover, the project establishes the framework for the strengthening of NBS-based policies according to local legislation and promotes technology and innovation in NBS to create a European leadership. Funding: EU Horizon 2020. Contact: Heikki Tuomenvirta.

FOSTER (2021–2023). FOSTER will produce new solutions for forest management and game policy as well as for land use by considering abiotic and biotic risks and the multifunctionality of forests. To achieve this, the project simulates forest management, land use and game policy scenarios at spatial scales from local to national while taking into account the risks of damage to forests. The economic, social and ecological impacts of such scenarios will be considered by using various metrics of ecosystem services and biodiversity. The simulations are used to investigate the short- and long-term changes and to assess the forests’ ability to adapt to climate change induced risks of damage to forests. Funding: Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Contact: Juha Aalto.

HEATCLIM (2020–2023). In the project, we clarify the impacts of climate change on the frequency and intensity of heat waves in Finland and study the predictability of prolonged warm periods and associated uncertainties over multiple timescales, from weekly to centennial. The objective of the consortium project is to produce new scientific information on the health effects of high temperatures and societal and other factors related to heat vulnerability. The project will also evaluate technological solutions to reduce exposure to heat. Finally, the project will provide an estimate of the burden of disease, as well as related economic costs, caused by heat in Finland in different climate, societal and adaptation scenarios. The consortium partners are the University of Eastern Finland (coordinator), the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Aalto University, and the Finnish Meteorological Institute. Funding: the Academy of Finland through the Climate Change and Health (CLIHE) programme. Contact: Kirsti Jylhä.

HIILIPOLKU (Mitigation and adaptation of carbon sequestration by co-creation, 2012–2024) The main objective of the HIILIPOLKU project is to develop co-creation practices based on partnership between different actors. Aim is to bring together local forestry actors (e.g., landowners, forest service entrepreneurs, NGOs) to nudge carbon sequestration in forests, and simultaneously support water protection and biodiversity, to be based on studied knowledge and perceived as socially just and rewarding. Project partners are Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) and Finnish Meteorological Institute. Funding: Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Catch the Carbon programme. Contact: Heikki Tuomenvirta.

LIFE-IP CANEMURE (Towards Carbon Neutral Municipalities and Regions, 2018–2024). The aim of the project, coordinated by the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE, is to promote smart low-carbon transport, increase the production of decentralised renewable energy and improve the energy efficiency of buildings. In addition, support is provided for climate sustainable urban planning processes and conditions created for low-carbon production and consumption. The project also promotes the implementation of climate strategy in agriculture and forestry, especially in peatlands.The FMI coordinates the subproject which aims to develop guidelines for sustainable spatial planning and urban design by enhancing synergies between climate change mitigation and adaptation. The subproject is implemented by the FMI and SYKE. Funding: EU-LIFE IP. Contact: Thomas Kühn.

PREDICT (Predicting extreme weather and sea level for nuclear power plant safety, 2019–2023). The safety management over the life cycle of a nuclear power plant requires probability estimates of exceptional weather and sea level conditions in the current and future climate. The main objective of PREDICT is to develop and maintain research expertise and methods needed for assessing probabilities of occurrence of safety-relevant single and compound extreme weather and marine events, both in the range of 0-15 days ahead and in decadal time scales of recent past and future climatic changes. The expected results include improved probability estimates for intense coastal snowfall, coastal flooding risks and compounding extreme events, such as heavy rain and high sea level. Funding from VYR through SAFIR2022. Contact: Kirsti Jylhä.

SLUPSU/SMARTLAND (Smart land use policy for sustainable urbanization, 2019–2025). The consortium helps to identify and develop effective land-use policies focusing on alleviating the following urban problems: 1) housing availability and affordability, 2) socioeconomic segregation of neighborhoods, and 3) carbon emission and energy use in cities. Land use policies are defined broadly, the instrument studied within the project are various, ranging from more traditional command and control policies to economic instruments (incentives structures) and information-based instruments. The research will identify existing and completely novel policies that effectively steer sustainable urbanisation considering all the three above-mentioned challenges and their interconnectedness. The consortium will also study and further develop these policies and their implementation in co-operation with the key stakeholders in the field of land use planning and development. Also, research-based long-term scenarios are utilised in co-creating processes. Funding: The Strategic Research Council (SRC) at the Academy of Finland. Contact: Reija Ruuhela.

VECLIMIT (Vector-borne diseases and climate change in Finland: mapping, modelling, mitigation, 2020–2023.) Vector-borne diseases (VBD) are posing an increasing threat to humans. Quantifying this risk is complicated as it arises from the interplay between multiple hosts, vector and pathogen species and the environment. This consortium (partners from Universities of Helsinki, Jyväskylä and Turku, Luke, THL, FFA and FMI) aims to estimate and predict these risks in relation to climate change in Finland. This will be achieved by integrating existing long-term human disease incidence data with data on host communities and environment using modern analyses tools, empirical field studies and predictive modelling. The ultimate goal is to better quantify environmental and societal factors that drive VBD and provide essential information for intervention strategies. The main focus is on tick-borne diseases (Lyme borreliosis and tick-borne encephalitis), but the concepts and methods developed can be used in studying other VBDs affected by climate change. Funding: Academy of Finland, Climate Change and Health (CLIHE). Contact: Hilppa Gregow.

Participation to international consulting

Water and Adaptation Interventions in Central and West Asia - our task is to provide climate data and climate scenarios for the Central Asian countries to be used in hydrological modelling.

Strengthening the resilience of people living in urban and semi-urban areas to weather-related disasters in Malawi and Mozambique.

Adaptation to climate change, A review of activities in Mozambique and Zambia.