Poland Poland Poland Poland

Previously in ClimateChangePost

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In the Carpathian Region, heat wave events have become more frequent, longer, more severe and intense over the period 1961 - 2010, in particular in summer

The transboundary area of western Poland, eastern Germany and the northern part of the Czech Republic is now suitable for the cultivation of wine grapes

How much sea level rise is to be expected at the upper limit of current IPCC scenarios? This question has been dealt with for northern Europe

Extreme storm surge heights likely will show a small increase toward the coasts of the German Bight with stronger changes along the North Frisian Islands ...

The impacts of the simulated climate change on the air quality are rather weak for the mid-century 2041−2050 ...

Climate change will substantially affect the growth of spruce and beech, but not of oak, in Central Europe ...

Wind-storm losses on a European-wide property insurance portfolio have been quantified under current and future climatic conditions ...

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I recommend

National plans/strategies for Poland

  • Sixth National Communication of the Republic of Poland under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (2014). Download.

Reports/papers that focus on important Polish 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 Polish

EU funded Research Projects

 

Climate change scenarios

Coastal areas

Cultural-historical heritage

Droughts and water scarcity

Floods

Fresh water resources

Mitigation / adaptation options and costs

Security and Crisis management

Urban areas

Health Poland

Vulnerabilities

Mosquito-borne diseases

There is agreement that the risk of a potential spread of malaria in Europe is very low under current socio-economic conditions, but some Eastern European countries might be at risk. In Eastern European countries, where per-capita health expenditure is relatively low, health services are less efficient in detecting and treating malaria cases, and the environmental measures to control mosquito distribution are poorly implemented. This could eventually contribute to the uncontrolled spread of the disease in these countries (1).

Tick-borne diseases

Climate change to date is not necessarily the cause of the marked increased incidence of a variety of tick-borne diseases in many parts of Europe over the past two decades, however. This increase may also be due to the impact of biotic factors, such as increases in deer abundance and changing habitat structure, and of socio-political changes following the end of communist rule (2).

Sand-fly-borne diseases

Leishmaniasis is a protozoan parasitic infection caused by Leishmania infantum that is transmitted to human beings through the bite of an infected female sandfly. Sandfly distribution in Europe is south of latitude 45⁰N and less than 800 m above sea level, although it has recently expanded as high as 49⁰N. Currently, sandfly vectors have a substantially wider range than that of L infantum, and imported cases of infected dogs are common in central and northern Europe. Once conditions make transmission suitable in northern latitudes, these imported cases could act as plentiful source of infections, permitting the development of new endemic foci. Conversely, if climatic conditions become too hot and dry for vector survival, the disease may disappear in southern latitudes. Thus, complex climatic and environmental changes (such as land use) will continue to shift the dispersal of leishmaniasis in Europe (3).

Air quality

Anticipated climate impacts on air quality were assessed for the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria by simulating air quality for 3 decades: 1991−2000, 2041−2050, and 2091−2100 under the IPCC A1B scenario (16). In order to exclusively study climate impacts on air quality, the anthropogenic emissions were kept constant in all simulations at the values of the year 2000 for all considered time slices. The impacts of the simulated climate change on the air quality are rather weak for the mid-century (2041−2050). For the end-century (2091−2100), an increase in summer mean ozone was shown and a decrease in annual mean particulate matter with a diameter < 10 μm for all four countries. The main climate factors responsible for the projected changes were an increase in summer temperature and a decrease in summer precipitation for ozone, and an increase in winter precipitation for fine particulate matter (16).

Climate change may reduce the levels of exposure to anthropogenic particulate air pollution in future decades and this reduction will reduce adverse health effects caused by the air pollution (17).

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 (4).

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 (4).

Adaptation strategies - Poland

Heat waves

Adaptation to heat waves in the public health system embraces a range of measures, such as heat warning system, air conditioning, heat-relief shelters, awareness raising – urging people to avoid dehydration and to avoid staying outside (5).

Adaptation strategies - General - Heatwaves

The outcomes from the two European heat waves of 2003 and 2006 have been summarized by the IPCC (6) 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 (7). 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 (8).

The European Network of Meteorological Services has created Meteoalarm as a way to coordinate warnings and to differentiate them across regions (9). 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 (10).

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 (11). Some evidence has even shown that top-down educational messages do not result in appropriate resultant actions (12).

More generally, research shows that communication about heat preparedness centered on engaging with communities results in increased awareness compared with top-down messages (13).

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 (14). 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 (15).

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 Poland.

  1. WHO (2005), in: Behrens et al. (2010)
  2. Randalph (2004)
  3. Semenza and Menne (2009)
  4. Hajat et al. (2003)
  5. Szwed (2010)
  6. IPCC (2012)
  7. Health Canada (2010), in: IPCC (2012)
  8. WHO (2007), in: IPCC (2012)
  9. Bartzokas et al. (2010), in: IPCC (2012)
  10. McCormick (2010b), in: IPCC (2012)
  11. Luber and McGeehin (2008), in: IPCC (2012)
  12. Semenza et al. (2008)), in: IPCC (2012)
  13. Smoyer-Tomic and Rainham (2001), in: IPCC (2012)
  14. Yip et al. (2008); Silva et al. (2010), both in: IPCC (2012)
  15. Akbari et al. (2001), in: IPCC (2012)
  16. Juda-Rezler (2012)
  17. Tainio et al. (2013)
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