Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Useful information for adapting to climate change

Written by Michel Neumuller avec le Plan Bleu on Friday, November 2nd 2012 à 09:51 | Read 685 times

What useful information exists for anyone wishing to model the effects of climate change? In the Mediterranean current tools are unsuitable for the demands of users. Twenty laboratories in the South and North will work for three years to implement a Climate Service.

(DR Jean-Baptiste Bellet)
(DR Jean-Baptiste Bellet)
On 9th and 10th June 2010, heavy flooding caused the Argens and other coastal rivers in the Var region of France, to burst their banks, destroying homes and businesses.  In December of the same year, in Morocco, a bus slid into a riverbed after heavy rain.  The waters rose and submerged the vehicle, killing 24 people. 
Not all sudden climatic events are so dramatic.  More subtle changes, such as coastal erosion and increased dust levels in the air, are nevertheless part of the same phenomenon with multiple outcomes:  a species disappears here, agricultural output declines there, and elsewhere water turns brackish. 
“ Extreme weather events are increasing.  The Mediterranean is a hot spot for climate change, the consequences of which are now being felt”, says Nathalie Rousset, project manager of Plan Bleu pour la Mediterranée (Plan Bleu for the Mediterranean).  She is jointly running a large study called Clim-Run, funded by the European Commission.  The aim of this project is to create the foundations of a Climate Service for the Mediterranean that is part of a process initiated by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). 
“ In the Mediterranean we do not have tools that enable us to intelligently inform different users of the consequences of climate change for their businesses”, says Nathalie Rousset.  The expected rise in sea levels could now mean that coastal tourist resorts will not be possible without establishing a system of breakwaters, the expected increase in sandstorms would alert anyone investing in photovoltaic projects that maintenance expenses will be higher than expected… 

(DR Météofrance)
(DR Météofrance)
With around twenty laboratories*, the Plan Bleu has just completed a series of meetings with scientists and policy-makers.  Firstly to raise awareness of the problems of usable information, and secondly to identify needs. 
Clim-Run targets efficiency and consists of nine work packages, including one led by Plan Bleu, to define identification protocols and analyse services that could result in an information system on climate change.  Plan Bleu and its partners will also develop a web portal of the various case studies in order to share experiences and provide a prototype. 
In total, Clim-Run will last three years and is part of the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Development (PCRD). It began in March 2011.  After the awareness-raising phase for all actors, a second round of meetings will be held in late 2012, in order to set out the priorities for building this system of climate information. 
*Enea  (Italy), EEWRC  (Cyprus), CNRM  (France), ICTP  (Italy), IC3 (Spain), NOA (Greece), CMCC (Italy), TEC (France), Plan Ble  u, PIK (Germany), UEA (UK), Grevachot (Tunisia), JRC (Belgium), DHMZ  (Croatia), USMD (USA), UC (Spain).

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