Weather and Climate Change Impact Research

The Weather and Climate Change Impact Research (SIV) is a research unit at the Finnish Meteorological Institute. Our mission is to do climate change impact research to support in climate change adaptation and risk assessments. We also strongly support the development of the climate services of FMI and of the Arctic Regional Climate Centre of WMO. We focus on weather extremes, their impacts, variability, predictability and change. We also promote tailoring the weekly to monthly forecasts for the public. Our research is highly multidisciplinary and it ties weather, climate and socio-economic research together in close collaboration with the stakeholders. We also take care of the web portal and climate change communication.

SIV unit focus areas.

Our main funders are EU-H2020, EU-C3S, Academy of Finland, Tekes, Prime Minister's Office and the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The annual budget is around 1.7 million euros. Our unit comprises of three research groups and our staff consists of about 35 experts.

Research areas and other activities

  • The Climate Change and Extreme Weather group studies the regional features of the past, present and projected climate especially but not only limited to Finland using multi-model climate products (CMIP and CORDEX). The purpose is to produce user-relevant information on the changing climate, significant weather phenomena such as storms, lightning, floods, drought, heat waves, and freezing rain to support adaptation and mitigation planning.

  • The Climate Change and Society group studies various socio-economic aspects of weather, climate and climate change in Finland, Europe and globally. The research supports and promotes society's resilience and adaptive capacity to respond to weather and climate risks, and especially to assess benefits and costs of weather and climate research-based services. New research focus areas include climate change adaptation in urban environment and well-being of citizens, climate service market development and development of GIS and hybrid databases. Finland's portal is coordinated by the group's science communicator.

  • The Seasonal and Climate Applications group is responsible for sectoral product development and diversification of climate research-based services. The group provides homogenized high-resolution gridded datasets using observations, and specializes its sectoral focus of work especially in agriculture and forestry but also water and energy. It also promotes the uptake and piloting of the monthly to seasonal forecasts in the research-based service design.

Projects of the SIV unit

Started in 2019–2020

CHAMPS (Climate change and Health: Adapting to Mental, Physical and Societal challenges, 2020–2023) 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-E-SHAPE (EuroGEOSS Showcases: Applications Powered by Europe, 2019–2022) project coordinated by ARMINES is an unprecedented initiative that brings together decades of public investment in earth observation and in cloud capabilities into services to the citizens, the industry, the decision-makers and researchers. E-SHAPE will develop and deliver concrete, operational EO services with and for the users (citizens, researchers, businesses and policy makers) through the implementation of 27 pilots spanning 7 thematic areas: food security and sustainable agriculture, health surveillance (pollutants), renewable energy, ecosystem monitoring, water resources management, disaster resilience and climate monitoring. The project is a collaboration between 54 partners. SIV implements tailored sub-seasonal and seasonal forecast services for the City of Helsinki and tire companies. Funding: EU Horizon 2020 Programme. Contact person: Andrea Vajda.

EU-iSCAPE (Improving the Smart Control of Air Pollution in Europe, 2016–2019). The project aims to integrate and advance the control of air quality and carbon emissions in European cities in the context of climate change through the development of sustainable and passive air pollution remediation strategies, policy interventions and behavioural change initiatives. Improvements in air quality, microclimate and behavioural aspects of urban dwellers will be achieved in the selected cities assessed for future climate change scenarios and representative of different cultural and life styles in Europe. FMI cooperates in Finland with the city of Vantaa. Funding: EU H2020. Contact: Antti Mäkelä.

EU-LODE (Loss Data Enhancement for DRR & CCA management 2019–2020) The aim of the project is to develop a loss and damage data information system. FMI contribution will befocusing particularly on the impacts of weather phenomena in Finland. The system will help to improve our understanding of the direct and indirect impacts of disasters for improved disaster risk management (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA). Funding: EU DG ECHO. Contact: Heikki Tuomenvirta.

IBA-ForestFires (Forest fires in Fennoscandia under changing climate and forest cover, 2019–2021). The project synthetizes the current knowledge of the occurrence, monitoring, modeling and extinction of forest fires in Fennoscandia and surrounding regions. In addition, the project investigates how forest fires can promote black carbon emissions over Arctic. The project will produce a comprehensive report on key issues related to forest fires in a situation where climate and forest structure are expected to rapidly change. In addition, an international meeting will be organized at the end of 2020, where the key findings of the project will be presented for the scientific community, policy makers and other relevant sectors. The project is part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland IBA funding scheme that promotes the collaboration between Baltic, Barents and Arctic regions. Contact: Juha Aalto.

MONITUHO (2019–2022). The aim of the project is to develop a forest damage prediction and risk management system for European spruce bark beetles in Finland. The project helps to adapt to the climate change induced increase in bark beetle damage. This project is implemented by the University of Helsinki - School of Forest Sciences, Finnish Meteorological Institute, the National Land Survey of Finland - Finnish Geospatial Research Institute, the Finnish Forest Centre and Natural Resources Institute Finland. Funding: The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland. Contact: Hilppa Gregow.

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, 2019–2022). 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: Athanasios Votsis.

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.

All the ongoing projects

Recently ended projects