Iceland Iceland Iceland Iceland

Previously in ClimateChangePost

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Presented by Richard Klein (Stockholm Environment Institute) at the 4th Nordic Conference on Climate Change Adaptation in Bergen, Norway, August 2016.

By the 2020s, the main beneficiary of the warming climate appears to be Finland, where the number of good months is projected to rise by one month

Projected impacts indicate increased fish productivity at high latitudes and decreased productivity at low/mid latitudes

Potential grass yield in Northern Europe is projected to increase in 2050 compared with 1960–1990, mainly as a result of increased growing temperatures.

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I recommend

National plans/strategies for Iceland

  • Iceland's Sixth National Communication on Climate Change under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (2014). Download.
  • Iceland’s Climate Change Strategy. Download.

Reports/papers that focus on important Icelandic topics

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 English and Icelandic

Weblogs in Icelandic

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EU funded Research Projects

Forestry and Peatlands Iceland

Vulnerabilities and benefits

An increase in summer temperatures and the length of the growing season will doubtlessly increase annual growth rates and coverage of both natural and managed forests in Iceland. It was recently shown that the downy birch tree lines are generally moving upwards in Iceland and its growth rate close to the tree lines has increased manifold since in the 1970s (1).


An increase in winter temperature could, however, do more damage than good, especially for exotic tree species used in managed forests and as ornamental garden plants originating from cold and continental climate. Those are generally not well adapted to mild, oceanic, winter climate. Further winter warming could thus lead to untimely start of tree growth in late winters or early springs, with increased danger for frost damage. On the other hand severe frost periods in the spring will decrease drastically because of higher ocean temperature in the Arctic ocean north of Iceland (1).

During the past two decades, an increasing number of new pests have emerged that can cause damage to trees. This has been linked to the climate warming that has taken place during the same period, but other factors may also be partly responsible (1).

The overall effect on forest propagation and production is, however, expected to be positive (1). Globally, based on both satellite and ground-based data, climatic changes seemed to have a generally positive impact on forest productivity since the middle of the 20th century, when water was not limiting (2).

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 Iceland.

  1. Ministry for the Environment of Iceland (2010)
  2. Boisvenue et al. (2006)
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