Weather and Climate Change Impact Research

The Weather and Climate Change Impact Research 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. 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 Socio-economic Impact Research 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 Climate Service centre

Started in 2017-2019

ERA4CS DustClim (DUST storms assessment for the development of user-oriented CLIMate services in Northern Africa, Middle East and Europe, 2017-2020) will provide high-resolution baseline and trend information on sand and dust storms over Europe, Northern Africa, and the Middle East, and will develop dust-related climate services tailored to key socioeconomic sectors. The project will produce, evaluate, and deliver an advanced dust regional model reanalysis, covering the satellite era of quantitative aerosol information, and will conduct impact assessment pilot studies for air quality, aviation, and solar energy. The project is a collaboration between BSC (Spain, coordinator), FMI, AEMET (Spain), CNR-DTA (Italy), and CNRS-LISA (France). Funding: European Commission through the JPI Climate ERA4CS initiative. Contact: Athanasios Votsis.

ERA4CS INDECIS (Integrated approach for the development across Europe of user oriented climate indicators for GFCS high-priority sectors: agriculture, disaster risk reduction, energy, health, water and tourism 2017-2020). INDECIS will e.g. develop an integrated approach to produce a set of relevant climate indices for the above mentioned sectors. It will catalog existing datasets of precipitation, temperature, wind speed and sunshine duration, search new data holdings and develop new methods and tools. Partners implementing the project are: URV/C3 (coordinator, Spain), UREAD (UK), FMI (Finland), BRGM/D3E (France), IRPI/CNR-DTA (Italy), UC/IHC (Spain), SMHI (Sweden), MET EIREANN (Ireland), AEMET (Spain), BSC (Spain), FFCUL (Portugal), GCRI (Czech Republic), KNMI (The Netherlands), RMI (Belgium), MeteoRo (Romania), IPE/CSIC (Spain). Funding: European Commission through the JPI Climate ERA4CS initiative. Contact: Andrea Vajda.

ERA4CS SERV_FORFIRE (Integrated services and approaches for Assessing effects of climate change and extreme events for fire and post fire risk prevention, 2017-2020) will: (i) provide integrated services for forest fire assessment and mitigation strategies, from seasonal up to climatic time scales , (ii) create a bridge between observations, model development, operational products, information translation and user uptake. Partners implementing the project are: CNR DTA (Italy), Finnish Meteorological Institute (Finland), BRGM (France), INRASTES NCSRD (Greece), KNMI (Netherlands) and GCRI (Czech Republic).Funding: European Commission through the JPI Climate ERA4CS initiative.Contact: Andrea Vajda

ERA4CS URCLIM (2017-2020) will combine high resolution urban climate modelling, with open source land use and urban morphology data, and with urban land use and morphology simulation modelling, so as to better explore alternative future urban climates in alternative future urban environments. The study also entails assessment of the effectiveness of climate adaptation measures in physical and economic terms, with case studies for Amsterdam, Brussels, Budapest, Helsinki and Toulouse. Focus impacts are heat stress, flooding risk, and snow clearing and slipperiness in winter. The project is a cooperation of MeteoFrance (coord.), CNRS, IGN (All France), RMI (Belgium), KNMI (Netherlands), FMI, and Meteo Romania. Funding: European Commission through the JPI Climate ERA4CS initiative. Contacts: Carl Fortelius (meteorology), Adriaan Perrels (socio-economics).

ERA4CS WINDSURFER (Wind and wave scenarios, uncertainty and climate risk assessment for forestry, energy and reinsurance, 2017-2020). Extreme winds pose major risks to life, property and forestry, while extreme ocean waves can impact on offshore infrastructures and coastal communities. WINDSURFER is a 3-year project that will bring together eight leading research institutions across Europe to co-develop new methods, tools and assessments of extreme wind and wave risk with a focus on Insurance, Forestry and Energy. The eight WINDSURFER partners are: University of Reading, (UK), Met Éireann (Ireland), Norwegian Meteorological Institute (Norway), CMCC (Italy), Finnish Meteorological Institute (Finland), IH Cantabria (Spain), NCSR Demokritos (Greece) and KNMI (Netherlands). Funding: European Commission through the JPI Climate ERA4CS initiative. Contact: Ari Venäläinen.

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, focusing particularly on the impacts of weather phenomena. The system will help to improve our understanding of the direct and indirect impacts of disasters for improved disaster risk management and climate change adaptation. Funding: EU DG ECHO. Contact: Heikki Tuomenvirta.

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 science-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.

LIFE-IP CANEMURE (2018-2024). The LIFE-IP CANEMURE-FINLAND project (coordinated by the Finnish Environment Institute) aims to make a major contribution to the implementation of Finnish climate change policy, as outlined in the NECS and Finland's medium-term climate change policy plan for 2018-24. It will work with seven Finnish regions - Uusimaa, Southwest Finland (Varsinais-Suomi), Satakunta, Pijt-Hme, Tampere region, South Karelia and Northern Ostrobothnia and 39 municipalities that between them cover one-third of Finnish territory and more than two-thirds of its population. These include 12 forerunner (so-called HINKU) municipalities that are committed to an 80% greenhouse emission reduction compared to 2007 emissions in their territories by 2030. They will act as an example to others and a catalyst for action elsewhere in Finland and the EU. Funding: EU LIFE-IP. Contact: Heikki Tuomenvirta.

PREDICT (Predicting extreme weather and sea level for nuclear power plant safety) (2019-2022). 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 through SAFIR2022. Contact: Kirsti Jylhä.

SLUPSU (Smart land use policy for sustainable urbanization). 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) of  the Academy of Finland. Contact: Athanasios Votsis.

Weather work (New weather and climate tools for forest-based bioeconomy, 2018-2020). Forest-based bioeconomy has a major role in promoting  low-carbon and resource-efficient society and sustainable economic development. Especially in northern Europe, climate change is predicted to increase forest growth and timber supply. Unfortunately, variable weather conditions and high-impact events such as wind storms, excess snow loads, and drought and forest fires can have a negative influence on forest productivity, and expose trees additionally to biotic hazards. Changes in soil frost conditions will complicate tree harvesting from wet soils, as well.  When aiming at optimizing forest management for different ecosystem services, we have to consider increasing climate induced risks for forests. Climate and weather services and related research has a crucial role in providing new climate data products and multidisciplinary and end-user oriented research findings to support risk management activities at different spatial and temporal scales. In this project, we will further develop and facilitate deployment of new climate datasets and forecasting services aiming at enhancing the services needed by the forest-based bioeconomy. As well, commercial use of developed new services and products will be surveyed. Contact: Ari Venäläinen.


All the ongoing projects

Recently ended projects