The climate of the future has been analyzed in 13 counties

Over the past two years, around two-thirds of the local County Administrations in Sweden have entrusted SMHI to construct plausible scenarios of future climate development in the relevant counties. Based on observations and analyses from the SMHI as well as climate scenarios from international climate research, the assignments have been prepared in close dialogue with the County Administrations in order to satisfy individual regional needs and requirements.

The purpose of the climate analyses is to provide a broader picture of today’s climate conditions and calculate the changes which are likely to take place up until the end of the century. The method applied takes into consideration that despite the fact that many different climate development scenarios exist within international climate research, there are also common trends. Examples of factors which were studied are mean temperature and precipitation (annual and seasonal), heavy precipitation, periods without precipitation and the length of vegetation periods.

- Climate adaptation is an important part of the work in achieving sustainable development. With the material provided by the SMHI, we have the data for planning and risk assessment required by various players in the county, says Climate Adaptation Co-ordinator, Malin Berglind at the Country Administrative Board in Jönköping.

Future water conditions are important

The future water conditions play a central role in the analyses. A hydrological model combined with measurements and an ensemble of international climate scenarios are used to calculate average water flows, seasonal variations and 100-year flows for specific watercourses. Soil humidity and snow conditions can also be calculated with the hydrological model.
For those counties with coastal stretches the future sea water level is of particular importance. SMHI’s calculations are based on current international knowledge as well as observations of sea water levels and landforms.

Risks for flooding

SMHI also compiles current knowledge for other areas such as flooding risks around Lake Vänern and Lake Mälaren.

- Broadly speaking, all public sectors are affected by the changing climate. The report provides us with the necessary knowledge base relating to climatic change in the county and it is also a part of the County Administrative Board’s mandate to co-ordinate the regional climate adaptation work, says Climate Adaptation Co-ordinator, Charlotta Källerfelt, County Administrative Board, Västra Götaland.