News Agriculture, Climate

Maintaining security and the central functions vital to society requires active preparation for extreme weather conditions. Preparation should take into account that climate change may change extreme weather conditions, their frequency and severity. Thus, preparing for extreme weather conditions is also part of the adaptation to climate change. ELASTINEN research project produced an overall assessment of the management of weather and climate risks and evaluated ways to promote management of these risks in various sectors.

– Weather, climate and climate change cause major risks for a number of parties and sectors. Therefore, it is important to identify the effects, distribute relevant information and improve management of weather and climate risks in Finland, says Proactive management of weather and climate related risks project Project Manager (ELASTINEN) Hilppa Gregow from The Finnish Meteorological Institute.

New methods of data collection, distribution and production are needed to support management of weather and climate risks. For instance, distributing information on the effects of weather phenomena between various parties of society would enable development of new warning services. More diverse and readily available information would improve possibilities to assess and manage weather and climate risks and to adapt to the effects of climate change.

– Measures used to manage weather and climate risks should be chosen and assessed also from the point of view of economic efficiency because they involve costs and benefits, emphasises Karoliina Pilli-Sihvola, researcher at the Finnish Meteorological Institute.

– It is important to keep in mind in managing weather and climate risks that Finland is not an island cut off from the rest of the world and that climate change may trigger international crises that may have an impact on Finland. Such crisis include, for instance, effects on price or availability of food or other commodities caused by drought or extensive floods,  says professor Mikael Hildén from the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE. By regularly assessing how these cross-border impacts of climate change may arise it may be possible to react to them quickly, if necessary.

Management of weather and climate risks also opens up new business opportunities. Such opportunities include, for instance, development of early warning and monitoring systems. These include devices and services improving the general preparedness of societies for emergencies and the ability of various sectors to react correctly to extreme weather conditions.

ELASTINEN research project was carried out by The Finnish Meteorological Institute (coordinator), the University of Helsinki, the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE, the Natural Resources Institute Finland, the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare and Gaia Consulting Oy. The project examined the state of weather and climate risk management in Finland and assessed ways to manage risks and the role of a range of parties. The project further examined how risk management costs and benefits are assessed and how risk management can be converted into business activities. Recommendations and proposals were submitted on the basis of the project results. The project also identified parties that would be involved in implementation of the measures.