Transport, Infrastructure and Building Lithuania
Climate change will affect driving conditions and traffic safety in the winter. In particular changes in the number of days with snow and the number of days when air temperature fluctuates around 0 °C are relevant. Future changes in these conditions have been projected for Lithuania, one of the Baltic States (6). Changes were projected for the near-term (2016-2035) and long-term (2081-2100) future, and compared with the period 1986-2005 as a reference. For each time slice four scenarios of climate change were used in the range low-end (RCP2.6) – intermediate (RCP4.5, RCP6.0) – high-end (RCP8.5). Projections were made with three global climate models.
- Days around 0 °C: Days when daily air temperature fluctuates around 0 °C reflect freeze-thaw cycles and are a good indication of road safety because of ice formation on the roads. The number of days with these conditions is projected to increase considerably. In the near future this increase is particularly strong, from 20-40 days per year in 1986-2005 to possibly up to about 100 days per year in the next 15 years. By the end of this century this number decreases again, but it will still be much higher than the number in the recent past (6).
- Days with snow: In the reference period, there were up to 20 days with snow per year at low altitudes and up to 35 days in the highlands. For the low-end scenario this number is projected to increase in both the near and far future, but for intermediate and high-end scenarios this number is projected to change little or decrease (6).
- Days with adverse driving conditions: Adverse driving conditions are conditions that usually form blizzards or similar weather conditions: the combination of snow, maximum wind speed ≥ 10 m/s, and mean air temperature below zero. In the reference period, these days occurred 1 to 15 days per year, depending on the part of the country. The number of days with adverse driving conditions will not change much in the near future and will probably decrease by the end of this century (6).
Overall, winter driving conditions should improve, and required maintenance levels should decrease by the end of this century, the authors conclude (6).
Adaptation strategies in Lithuania
Soviet-era panel-style buildings are an important consideration when planning for climate change in the region. Most block flats, which were designed to have a lifespan of about thirty years, already were in disrepair at the time the regimes fell (1). Bulgaria, for instance, recently indicated that 10% of its panel dwellings were in need of urgent repairs (1) while the Slovak Ministry of Construction estimated that it would cost over 10.3 billion Euros and take more than thirty years to complete the structural repairs necessary to ensure the safety of these buildings (2).
Although they are in need of basic renovation, there is growing evidence that panel buildings, both block flats used for housing and public buildings of similar construction, have the potential to be efficiently renovated and to incorporate energy-saving retrofits. The major aspects of retrofitting focus on energy-saving measures. These include thermal insulation, replacement windows, and modernization of central heating systems. In addition to these measures, green roofing is being tested as a further means for improving the quality of living spaces as well as a way to manage fluctuations in precipitation. Studies suggest that rooftop gardens:
- help to control interior temperature, by decreasing the heat entering and exiting a building through the roof, and thus reduce energy demand (3). Widespread introduction of gardens will add to urban greenspace and, in the process, help moderate heat island effects.
- can reduce the level of runoff and moderate the potential of flooding during heavy rainfall (3,4).
- assist in harvesting rainwater. The basic idea is that rainwater is filtered into storage tanks and then used for non-potable activities such as laundry, toilets, and watering plants (5).
The references below are cited in full in a separate map 'References'. Please click here if you are looking for the full references for Lithuania.
- Iliev and Yuksel (2004), in: Carmin and Zhang (2009)
- CiJ (2008), in: Carmin and Zhang (2009)
- Bass and Baskaran (2001), in: Carmin and Zhang (2009)
- Hadley and Carter (2006), in: Carmin and Zhang (2009)
- Carmin and Zhang (2009)
- Šidlauskaitė and Kažys (2019)