Participatory approaches to develop warning systems for natural hazards and a scientific based regional adaptation plan (PIAAC-AMAL). Cases of the Nordic countries and Southern Portugal region

11:15 Thursday 30 May


Room S13


João Pedro Nunes (Portugal) 1; Inês Morais (Portugal) 1; Bruno Aparício (Portugal) 1; Luís Filipe Dias (Portugal) 1; Amandine Pastor (France) 1,2; Filipe Duarte Santos (Portugal) 1; André Oliveira (Portugal) 1; Peter Van Der Keur (Denmark) 3; Hans-Jørgen Henriksen (Denmark) 3; Matthew J Roberts (Iceland) 4; Karoliina Pilli-Sihvola (Finland) 5; David Egilson (Iceland) 4; Amandine Harjanne (Finland) 3; Cristina Veiga-Pires (Portugal) 6,7; Ana Rita Carrasco (Portugal) 7; Bruno Sampath (Portugal) 7; Susana Costas (Portugal) 7; Isabel Mendes (Portugal) 7; Delminda Moura (Portugal) 7

1 - CCIAM/CE3C-FCUL: Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Modelling, Faculdade de Ciências - UL, Portugal; 2 - IRD - INRA, UMR LISAH, Montpellier, France; 3 - Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS); 4 - Icelandic Met Office (IMO); 5 - Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI); 6 - Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Algarve, Portugal; 7 - CIMA-UALG: Marine and Environmental Research Centre, University of Algarve, Portugal

Hazard impacts are changing due to modern-day issues such as urbanization and land use change, infrastructure vulnerabilities or globalization. Additionally, climate change will pose as an extra pressure to artificialized and natural systems, with the increase of the severity of extreme weather events, such as droughts, heat waves, floods as well as changes in temperature and precipitation.

Despite the advances in data, technology and methodology that allows for an increase in knowledge related with climate events, there is still lack of public and decision makers awareness, which can lead to a poor adaptation capacity.

To deal with this, there are several methods to increase preparedness, including improved institutional and decision makers empowerment, the enhancement of established knowledge, the design and implementation of co-creation techniques for planning, public participation by means of community-based monitoring and filling of data gaps, risk-management solutions or monitoring techniques.

In this session, we will present and discuss two different approaches to increase climate related awareness: the first associated with a participatory approach to empower decision-makers in southern Portugal trough a design of a climate change adaptation plan; and the second related with the importance of citizen aided monitoring approaches to improve natural hazard monitoring in the Nordic countries.

The Nordic countries examples focus on the public’s role in the early warning and monitoring process. Public observations in various forms – for instance photographs and social media updates – could be incorporated into existing monitoring networks and forecasting systems so that: (i) more timely and accurate warnings can be issued; (ii) more comprehensive compilations of damage impacts are received; and (iii) hazard awareness and perception of risk are improved. By taking advantage of the latest technological developments, citizen observations can support two-way information sharing by means of public-aided early warning and the improved individual’s perception of natural risk. We will illustrate this approach with examples of recent natural hazards in Nordic countries from the perspective of families experiencing natural hazards (Abstract 2, 3 and 6).

Southern Portugal is in the Mediterranean area, known to be a climate change hotspot. Hence, it is required to have a scientific base empowerment of decision makers in climate change impacts and potential solutions, as well as community involvement in the decision process. In order to address these challenges, a multidisciplinary approach was applied to develop a Regional Adaptation Plan for Algarve (Southern Portugal), which includes several climate change impacts assessments in multiple sectors (e.g. water, human health or coastal areas) and the design of adaptation measures with the development of adaptation pathways (Abstract 1, 4 and 5).

Target audience

The target audience includes natural-hazard and climate adaptation specialists, in addition to the emergency managers, first responders, and the disaster risk-reduction community. The audience is expected to learn and benefit from shared knowledge on experiences in climate adaptation and societal resilience in the Nordic countries and Southern Portugal in the Mediterranean area featuring a broad range of natural disasters, including drought, heat waves, coastal inundation, volcanic eruptions, forest fires and flash flooding.

Proposed format for the session

The format is ïscience-practice’ enhance engagement and learning between science and practice including relevant connections with policy and society.

Brief introduction by the session host (Luís Dias) contextualizing the proposed study (5 minutes).

Round of 6 presentations (10 minutes each); Round table discussions for debate (30 minutes): The proposed debate has focus on a participatory approach in which the presenters and audience will engage in the discussion about the presented topics. Debriefing by the session’s host (10 minutes): Main conclusions of the discussion and ideas for further investigations (“What? So what? Now what?”).

1. Co-creating climate change adaptation pathways for water resources in southern Portugal

Nunes1, Morais1, Aparício1, Fonseca1, Pastor2, Santos1, Dias1


Irrigation is essential for many Mediterranean agricultural systems, but scarce resources may cause conflicts between agricultural and domestic uses. These conflicts might be exacerbated by climate change, which could bring a drier climate and thus increase irrigation water demands while lowering supplies.

The evolution of water availability and irrigation demands for key water assets in Algarve were simulated until 2100 for climate scenarios RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. Our results show an increase in water stress in the RCP8.5 scenario. These results were discussed with local representatives and other stakeholders. This interaction helped design a clear adaptation pathway until the end of the 21st century. Stakeholders showed a strong preference for distributed small-scale measures, including the promotion of water use efficiency and landscape water retention, to large-scale measures such as wastewater recycling or new dams. A decrease in irrigation water use was not considered socially desirable. Desalination was considered too costly in the short term but kept in reserve in case other measures fail to keep water supplies at an acceptable level.

2. Urban flooding and monitoring shallow groundwater: Nature-based solutions in Copenhagen

Peter van der Keur1 and Hans-Jørgen Henriksen1


Urban flooding as a result of cloudburst events and sometimes aggravated by prolonged rainfall leading to groundwater flooding, causes numerous problems, not least economic, for society and citizens. The extreme rainfall event in Copenhagen in 2011 leading to severe inundation of large parts of the city caused damage for close to 1 billion euro. This damage figure is expected to increase substantially with more frequent and severe rainfall, and which cannot cost-effectively be solved by upgrading grey infrastructure, like the sewerage system. Copenhagen climate proofing is challenged by groundwater flooding which pose serious problems to the built environment below street level, e.g. cellars and underground infrastructure as railways (trains and metro) and roads. The restoration of an urban river as a nature-based solution in the city of Copenhagen serves as a scenario to reduce the risk for urban and peri-urban scale surface and groundwater flooding under current and future climatic conditions. A modelling approach is presented and the options for a citizen aided monitoring platform discussed.

3. The incorporation of public observations in Icelandic Meteorological Office monitoring system

Matthew James Roberts1, David Egilson1

1) IMO

Iceland is subject to various natural hazards, including severe weather, damaging earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, various mass-movements, and several types of flooding. In recent years, natural hazards stemming from severe weather have occurred more frequently and with less seasonal consistency. A leading example is flash flooding, which can affect coastal towns during both winter and summer conditions. The Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) is responsible for monitoring natural hazards in Iceland, working closely with the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management and other stakeholders. Despite operating a nationwide monitoring network for river conditions, IMO makes frequent use of first-hand observations from the public, both for initial confirmation of a flood, and for verification of how a flood has developed. In this presentation we explain the efforts made to incorporate public observations into IMO’s monitoring, warning and assessment procedures. We show how public observations, in the form of dialogue and photographs, could be incorporated into an early warning system for two-way exchange of warnings and local feedback. Such a system has the potential to improve the content and timeliness of flood warnings, thereby helping to maintain public trust; it could also help to focus emergency responses during a hazardous flood.

4. Heat-related mortality projections under climate change scenarios in southern Portugal

Oliveira1, Aparicio1, Santos1, Dias1


Heat is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. These impacts are aggravated by risk factors such as age and socioeconomic status. The average rise in temperature will lead to greater population exposure to high temperatures.

The burden of non-accidental heat-related mortality was modelled for all municipalities in the Algarve region under present conditions and projected under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 for three future periods. Local models were developed using Geographically Weighted Regression, allowing for municipal heat burden projections. The count of days with maximum temperature above 30ÁC was used as heat exposure indicator, and socioeconomic co-variables were included as control for confounding.

Currently, an average territorial heat-related mortality burden of 2% has been estimated. Under climate change scenarios, risk levels are expected to increase gradually throughout the century, with the highest excess projected mortality near 8%.

5. The importance of coastal zone knowledge for co-creating climate change adaptation pathways: A case study from southern Portugal

Veiga-Pires1,2 Carrasco1, Sampath1, Costas1, Mendes1, Moura1,2, Dias3


The Algarve coastline is characterized by a diversity of morphologies determined by its geological formations and geographical orientation, being likely to respond differently to climate change consequences.

The evolution of the Algarve coastline due to sea level rise and average wave conditions was simulated until 2100 for climate scenarios RCP4.5 and 8.5. The results show more prominent retreat rates on sandy coasts than rocky coasts. Sandy coasts also will be more prone to overwash, inundation and erosion in RCP8.5. The latter are also the areas presenting higher population densities and thus higher associated risk.

These results were discussed with representatives from local municipalities and other stakeholders. This interaction helped to design and clarify possible adaptation pathways until the end of the 21st century. From the large number of potential adaptation measures previously compiled and presented, stakeholders demonstrated their preferences for the most integrated approaches allowing both to protect and requalify the coast.

6. The experience in public observations through the mobile Weather app

Karoliina Pilli-Sihvola1, Atte Harjanne1

1) FMI

Citizen observations on extreme weather and its impacts may provide valuable new information for national meteorological services to improve their warnings and analyse the impacts of extreme weather events. This presentation will describe the success factors and shortcomings of the crowdsourcing feature of the Finnish Meteorological Institute’s (FMI) mobile Weather app. The feature has been piloted since summer 2017, and it gives citizens the possibility to send observations both on weather (e.g. lightning) and its impacts (e.g. storm damage). Between the 10th of July 2017 and the 10th of September 2018, FMI has received over 46000 observations from about 14000 devices/users. The aim of the crowdsourced data is to improve the severe weather warning system of FMI, and potentially provide data for impact and risk assessments related to weather and climate change. To achieve this, there should be a high number of high-quality observations. We will present some of the findings on what encourages people to send observations, what kind of observations are being sent, and what are the potential benefits of crowdsourced data both for improved warnings and risk assessments.

Is this a business/service oriented session? No