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High sea level rise may be catastrophic for the beaches of Crete. Strong erosion may require costly adaptation measures to ensure their long-term sustainability.

At the end of this century, several heat waves per year will occur in the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. The number of heat wave days will increase by 20 - 130 days per year.

Wetlands are vulnerable to changes in precipitation, evaporation, and catchment run-off. Lakes in Greece, for instance, may loose more than a third of their surface area this century.

The global area of dryland is increasing rapidly. This was shown from data over the period 1948–2005, and seems to proceed towards the end of this century.

Mediterranean mountainous areas may face a very large threat from wildfires in the twenty-first century, if socioeconomic changes leading to

Viticulture is affected by climate change, mainly by a shift in the four basic grapevine developmental stages budbreak, flowering, véraison (beginning of maturation) and full ripeness (harvest).

The Mediterranean Sea is warming in both shallow and deep waters. This warming is part of global climate trends and not a regional phenomenon.

Across the Balkan Peninsula and Turkey climate change is particularly rapid, and especially summer temperatures are expected to increase strongly.

Local water management planning and adaptation strategies need to be improved and updated in order to attain future water security ...

Climate change affects mining industry in Greece both directly and indirectly. Direct impacts: destruction of mining infrastructure ...

For agriculture in 2021–2050 compared with 1961–1990, maximum length of dry spell may increase by 10 – 20 days ...

For a basin on the isle of Crete future changes in drought characteristics have been assessed by projecting changes in flow, soil moisture and ...

The likely effects of climate change on the water resources of Greece have been investigated for 2040–2069 and 2070–2099 compared with 1961–1990 ...

In the Mediterranean most of the floods are caused by intense rainfall in a short time frame, making flash flooding the most common type of inundation ...

Data analysis for the period 1970–2100 reveals an overall decreasing precipitation trend for Crete which, combined with a temperature rise, leads to substantial reduction of water availability ...

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I recommend

National plans/strategies for Greece

  • Sixth National Communication of Greece to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (2014). Download.

Reports/papers that focus on important Greek topics

  • Agriculture, forest fires: Giannakopoulos et al. (2009). Climatic changes and associated impacts in the Mediterranean resulting from a 2°C global warming. Download.
  • Coastal flood risk: Raucoules et al. (2008). Ground deformation detection of the greater area of Thessaloniki (Northern Greece) using radar interferometry techniques. Download.
  • Fresh water resources: Collins (2009). Water scarcity and drought in the Mediterranean. Download.

Reports/papers that present a sound overview for Europe

  • Eisenreich (2005). Climate change and the European water dimension. A report to the European water directors.
  • European Environment Agency (2005). Vulnerability and adaptation to climate change in Europe. Download.
  • European Environment Agency, JRC and WHO (2008). Impact of Europe’s changing climate – 2008 indicator-based assessment. Download.

Reports/papers that focus on specific topics, relevant for all of Europe

  • Agriculture: Rounsevell et al. (2005). Future scenarios of European agricultural land use II. Projecting changes in cropland and grassland. Download.
  • Agriculture: Fischer et al. (2005). Socio-economic and climate change impacts on agriculture: an integrated assessment, 1990–2080. Download.
  • Biodiversity: Thuiller et al. (2005). Climate change threats to plant diversity in Europe. Download.
  • Coastal erosion: Salman et al. (2004). Living with coastal erosion in Europe: sediment and space for sustainability. Download.
  • Droughts: Blenkinsop and Fowler (2007). Changes in European drought characteristics projected by the PRUDENCE regional climate models. Download.
  • Droughts: European Environment Agency (2009). Water resources across Europe – confronting water scarcity and drought. Download.
  • Forestry: Seppälä et al. (2009). Adaptation of forests and people to climate change. A global assessment report. Download.
  • Health: Kosatsky (2005). The 2003 European heat waves. Download.
  • Health: WHO (2008). Protecting health in Europe from climate change. Download.
  • Insurance and Business: Mills et al. (2005). Availability and affordability of insurance under climate change. A growing challenge for the U.S. Download.
  • Security and Crisis management: German Advisory Council on Global Change (2007). World in transition: Climate change as a security risk. Summary for policy-makers. Download.
  • Storms: Gardiner et al. (2010). Destructive storms in European forests: Past and forthcoming impacts. Download.
  • Storms: Pinto et al. (2007). Changing European storm loss potentials under modified climate conditions according to ensemble simulations of the ECHAM5/MPI-OM1 GCM. Download.
  • Tourism: Deutsche Bank Research (2008). Climate change and tourism: Where will the journey lead? Download.

Weblogs in Greek

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EU funded Research Projects

Agriculture

 

Climate change scenarios

Climate change impacts and vulnerabilities

Coastal areas

Cultural-historical heritage

Droughts and water scarcity

Flash Floods

Floods

Forest fires

Fresh water resources

Infrastructure

Mitigation / adaptation options and costs

Security and Crisis management

Transport, Infrastructure and Building

Urban areas

Health Greece

See also the page on the United Kingdom

Vulnerabilities

Floods

Floods are the most common natural disaster in Europe. The adverse human health consequences of flooding are complex and far-reaching: these include drowning, injuries, and an increased incidence of common mental disorders. Anxiety and depression may last for months and possibly even years after the flood event and so the true health burden is rarely appreciated (1).

Effects of floods on communicable diseases appear relatively infrequent in Europe. The vulnerability of a person or group is defined in terms of their capacity to anticipate, cope with, resist and recover from the impact of a natural hazard. Determining vulnerability is a major challenge. Vulnerable groups within communities to the health impacts of flooding are the elderly, disabled, children, women, ethnic minorities, and those on low incomes (1).

Air quality

Air quality is expected to become poorer in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. Whereas human-induced emissions in most of Europe are decreasing, they are increasing in Turkey and the Middle East, which affect ozone and particulate air pollution, leading to excess morbidity and mortality. In the northern parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East increasing dryness will likely be associated with fire activity and consequent pollution emissions. Furthermore, this region has many large cities, including several megacities in which air quality is seriously degraded (12,14).

Heatwaves

Extended heat waves will have serious health implications (12). For urban areas in Greece the impact of climate change on health conditions has been estimated for 2021–2050 compared with1961–1990, based on a mid-line scenario for carbon dioxide emissions and economic growth (SRES A1B). The results show that (13)

  • changes in the number of days with temperature exceeding 35°C are expected to have an impact in population discomfort in the urban areas. This parameter will increase in Greek cities, probably by 10 to 20 additional hot days per year;
  • the number of warm nights per year, defined as nights where night-time temperature is above 20°C, will generally increase, probably by about an extra month per year;
  • approximately 5 to 15 extra days per year will require cooling (air conditioning);
  • practically all urban areas in Greece will experience 15 (±8) fewer days requiring heavy heating per year.

Adaptation strategies - General - Heatwaves

The outcomes from the two European heat waves of 2003 and 2006 have been summarized by the IPCC (2) and are summarized below. They include public health approaches to reducing exposure, assessing heat mortality, communication and education, and adapting the urban infrastructure.


1. Public health approaches to reducing exposure

A common public health approach to reducing exposure is the Heat Warning System (HWS) or Heat Action Response System. The four components of the latter include an alert protocol, community response plan, communication plan, and evaluation plan (3). The HWS is represented by the multiple dimensions of the EuroHeat plan, such as a lead agency to coordinate the alert, an alert system, an information outreach plan, long-term infrastructural planning, and preparedness actions for the health care system (4).

The European Network of Meteorological Services has created Meteoalarm as a way to coordinate warnings and to differentiate them across regions (5). There are a range of approaches used to trigger alerts and a range of response measures implemented once an alert has been triggered. In some cases, departments of emergency management lead the endeavor, while in others public health-related agencies are most responsible (6).

2. Assessing heat mortality

Assessing excess mortality is the most widely used means of assessing the health impact of heat-related extreme events.

3. Communication and education

One particularly difficult aspect of heat preparedness is communicating risk. In many locations populations are unaware of their risk and heat wave warning systems go largely unheeded (7). Some evidence has even shown that top-down educational messages do not result in appropriate resultant actions (8).

More generally, research shows that communication about heat preparedness centered on engaging with communities results in increased awareness compared with top-down messages (9).

4. Adapting the urban infrastructure

Several types of infrastructural measures can be taken to prevent negative outcomes of heat-related extreme events. Models suggest that significant reductions in heat-related illness would result from land use modifications that increase albedo, proportion of vegetative cover, thermal conductivity, and emissivity in urban areas (10). Reducing energy consumption in buildings can improve resilience, since localized systems are less dependent on vulnerable energy infrastructure. In addition, by better insulating residential dwellings, people would suffer less effect from heat hazards. Financial incentives have been tested in some countries as a means to increase energy efficiency by supporting those who are insulating their homes. Urban greening can also reduce temperatures, protecting local populations and reducing energy demands (11).

References

The references below are cited in full in a separate map 'References'. Please click here if you are looking for the full references for Greece.

  1. Hajat et al. (2003)
  2. IPCC (2012)
  3. Health Canada (2010), in: IPCC (2012)
  4. WHO (2007), in: IPCC (2012)
  5. Bartzokas et al. (2010), in: IPCC (2012)
  6. McCormick (2010b), in: IPCC (2012)
  7. Luber and McGeehin (2008), in: IPCC (2012)
  8. Semenza et al. (2008)), in: IPCC (2012)
  9. Smoyer-Tomic and Rainham (2001), in: IPCC (2012)
  10. Yip et al. (2008); Silva et al. (2010), both in: IPCC (2012)
  11. Akbari et al. (2001), in: IPCC (2012)
  12. Lelieveld et al. (2012)
  13. Giannakopoulos et al. (2011)
  14. Lelieveld et al. (2013)
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