Ongoing projects of the Weather and Climate Change Impact Research

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.

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: Ali-Nadir Arslan, 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 (Advance on Urban Climate Services, 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-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: Mikko Strahlendorff, 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.

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.

FORBIO (Sustainable, climate-neutral and resource-efficient forest-based bioeconomy, 2015–2020). The project aims to the renewal of the scientific knowledge base and provide for decision making smart means, solutions and tools needed to sustainably improve resource-efficiency and climate-neutrality of management and utilization of Finnish forests. The aim is also to facilitate the adaptation to the changing operational environment, which is affected by changing climate and demands of forest-based bioeconomy and society in different time spans and regions. This research project is implemented by the University of Eastern Finland, School of Forest Sciences (co-ordinator) and Department of Chemistry, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Natural Resources Institute Finland, European Forest Institute, and Finnish Environment institute. Funding: the Strategic Research Council (SRC) at the Academy of Finland. Contact: Ari Venäläinen.

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.

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.

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.

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.

NORDRESS (2015–2020) is a Centre of Excellence under the Social Security Programme of NordForsk. Its aim is to carry out multidisciplinary studies to enhance societal security and resilience to natural disasters. Partners from 15 institutions in all Nordic countries will join forces to increase the resilience of individuals, communities, infrastructure and institutions. The NordForsk Social Security Programme is funded by the Academy of Finland, The Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection (DSB), The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), Icelandic Centre for Research (RANNIS) and NordForsk. The FMI is involved in the work packaged dealing with: Natural Hazard Management approaches, Participatory observation and early warning systems, and Risk perceptions. Contact: Adriaan Perrels.

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.

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. Funding: Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Contact: Ari Venäläinen.

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.