Modelling climate change impacts in a Mediterranean context

The “EuroMED Cooperation. Inland and Marine Water challenges” conference brought together a number of representatives from both shores of the Mediterranean, North and South. There were four parallel workshops dealing with various aspects of the coastal system, including the connexion with the land catch-man basin.

In the second workshop the emphasis was on the tourist function of the coastal zone. Here RISES-AM- provided another view of the scenarios that we are going to be facing and how that will affect the coastal area erosion and flooding. From that it would be relatively strait forward to assess the tourist function under future climates.

The question of comparing future and present or present and past was discussed in depth during the workshop. For instance, the tourist development and the increase of tourist pressure that is largest in Mediterranean countries such as Israel or Spain (after Monaco). Here the case study of the Spanish Mediterranean coast that we are considering in RISES-AM- proves to be pivotal in analysing how is and how should be the evolution of this function. Considering that the average distance between marinas in countries such as Slovenia, Spain or France is of order 15km and that all projections (Bigano et al, 2008) indicate a decrease in tourism of about 20% by 2100 (with notable exceptions such as Slovenia or Bosnia-Herzegovina), the case studies analysed in RISES-AM- can be considered as good illustrations for setting the vision of the future coastal zone, more resilient to climatic factors but also to human action. During the workshop there was also an in depth discussion about the ICZM protocol signed in January 2008 and entering into force in March 2015 and how the advanced knowledge that can be obtained in research projects such as RISES-AM- could be put to good use in this context.

Modellers meeting in RISES-AM-

In the context of Deltas in Times of Climate Change II Conference (Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 24-26 September 2014) where there were 10 RISES-AM- researchers, there was a meeting to discuss modelling, scales and how to incorporate the results into the general assessment framework developed in RISES-AM-. The challenge of combining high resolution models with more integrated regional or global scale models remains one of the pending scientific questions where contributing should support reducing the uncertainty in impact projection and the wider use of climatic scenarios.