Iceland Iceland Iceland Iceland

Previously in ClimateChangePost


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.


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

Storms Iceland

Wind climate changes in the past

The distribution of the most severe storms over the UK and Iceland is likely to have changed since the 1950s. Although there has been an increase in the number of severe storms between October and March in each year in most regions, there has been a shift towards fewer very severe events over Iceland. Northern UK shows a mixed pattern of change. There are many more regional severe events in recent decades but no significant distribution change between the two periods studied and no significant increase in severe storms. The central and southern UK regions show a tendency towards more ‘‘very severe’’ storms in latter decades with the number of severe events in central UK having more than doubled (1).

Although southern UK shows little change in the number of severe events, there is evidence for their intensification in the most recent decades. Overall, the UK has seen a significant increase in the number of severe storm events over the past 50 years which in general are related to the long-term fluctuations of the NAO. An exception to this is the non-significant relationship between the NAO and severe storms over the UK in October to December, the reason for which is not clear (1).

The difference between the distributions of severe storms between Iceland and the UK may imply a possible shift in the North Atlantic storm track, with significant implications given that the majority of people (more than 30 million) in this region of study live in southern Britain (1).

With this relatively short record it is hard to say whether these changes are unusual over longer time periods. Indeed is was shown that it is unlikely that ‘‘storminess’’ has significantly changed over the past 200 years in northern Europe (2).

Iceland has around two to three times as many severe storms as the UK. The annual average number of severe storms varies from less than one in southern Britain to around four in Iceland (1).


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. Alexander et al. (2005)
  2. Bärring and von Storch (2004), in: Alexander et al. (2005)