Press release 12.6.2012

Nordic Conference calls for immediate action on climate change adaptation

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 ongoing 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 private sector.

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.

Further information:

Research Professor Adriaan Perrels, FMI, +358 50 583 8575, firstname.lastname@fmi.fiResearch Professor Tim Carter, SYKE, +358 40 740 5403, firstname.lastname@ymparisto.fiDirector, Professor Mikael Hildén, SYKE, +358 40 740 1675,

Conference web site:Second Nordic International Conference on Climate Change Adaptation