Results in WP3d. Analysis of the impacts on natural ecosystems, human health and infrastructure

The primary aim of WP3d is to develop and apply a methodology, which provides scientifically credible information for the decision makers about the various impacts of climate change in regional and local levels. The methodological framework (Climate Impact and Vulnerability Assessment Scheme, CIVAS) was developed and applied in various CLAVIER impact case studies in order to quantitatively estimate the climate change induced threat of the investigated systems. The theoretical background of CIVAS method is based on IPCC AR4. The vulnerability in CIVAS method integrates the exposure (climate change in case study area), sensitivity (system’s weather dependency) and adaptive capacity (socio-economic implications). In order to create an impact-related database the various Impact Case Studies are prepared in a uniform, generalized structure. The following impact studies were completed:

Building Case Study

Changes in climate have various implications for building design, construction and maintenance. The main objective of the Buildings Case Study is to assess the structural impacts and vulnerability on the roof, particularly in point of the wind loads. The Building Case Study was implemented in Tatabánya (located in Komárom-Esztergom County in north part of Hungary). The building’s composition of the town well represents the building’ stock in Hungary. A classification of building stocks were made in three main groups (dwellings; (industrial/commercial buildings; public buildings). 15 different types were defined, which represent almost 90% of Hungarian building stock. The building type’s sensitivity indexes are attributed to roof covering material, building’s age, roof area etc. The indexes of building type’s adaptive capacity depends on the attitude and socio-economic situation of house’s owners related to mobility, risk prevention, potential to mitigate the damage costs etc.

It can be shown that almost the half of the dwelling categories is attributed higher than average vulnerability. Obsolete block of flats (which are relatively prevalent in Tatabánya), churches and older, dilapidated public buildings are the most endangered. It is obvious that those areas where the block of flats from 1945's and the high-rise prefabricated housing blocks dominate are the most vulnerable. It is also notable, that almost 25% of the Tatabánya’s inhabitants are living in most vulnerable settlements.

Exposure, sensitivity, adaptive capacity and vulnerability in various building types in Tatabánya

Spatial vulnerability of building’s roof to climate change in Tatabánya

Roads Impact Case Study

The main objective of this impact assessment is to make an attempt that the climate driven change in state of infrastructure may be quantified. Three different road sections in two locations have been identified: R1 roads (made of new asphalt pavement structure), R2 roads (with concrete pavement) and C road (made of old asphalt pavement). The summer and winter senstivites have been indentified. In case of summer sensitivity the origin of road damages is the plastic deformation, while in case of winter sensitivity the pothole’s formation.

It has been revealed that Number of critical days (which involve different risks of road damages taking into account their sensitivity) generally increases in summer and decreases in winter. Consequently, increasing risk in summer road’s damages and lowering in winter ones is estimated. The low sensitivity classes may involve higher impact. It means that the probability of small damages (in summer cases) may be expected.

It has been concluded that summer vulnerability is the most significant in case of C road (with old asphalt pavement). The most robust to the climate change is the R2 road which were constructed by concrete. The results highlight that the operational road improvement’s workflows should be re-arranged even in case of older roads. More attention (financial and human resources) should be allocated to summer season to mitigate and restore the plastic deformations.

Road’ sensitivity classes (summer cases)
old asphalt pavement new asphalt pavement concrete pavement
Road’ sensitivity classes (winter cases)
old asphalt pavement new asphalt pavement concrete pavement

Vulnerability of C, R1 and R2 roads
wp3d-cs2-img03: Vulnerability of C, R1 and R2 roads

Summer sensitivity: plastic deformation (rutting) Winter sensitivity: cracks and potholes

Heatwaves Impact Case Study

The main objective of this case study is to assess the changes in daily mortality in Budapest due to the potential climate change induced summer warming. The urban heat index (UHI) may reach 5-6°C during summer in the downtown, whilst reaches only 3-4°C during winter.

The change in mortality was investigated for the 1971-2000 and 2021-2050 periods. It has been revealed that the number of heat wave days will increase by 156 days compared to the reference period of 1971-2000. The calculated excess mortality in the period of 1971-2000 was 44.8 cases per year, while in the future period will be 86.1 cases. The ratio of attributable excess mortality during the heat waves in relation to the increase of total mortality depends on the frequency and intensity of heat waves. Heat waves with daily mean temperature of 27-29°C have the greatest impact.

Total number of days of heat waves
during the baseline (1971-2000) future run (2021-2050)

Absolute numbers of excess mortality
by years for the baseline and future run

Hortobágy (Grassland)Impact Case Study

The main objective of this research is to demonstrate that high resolution climate change data may be suitable to assess the possible impact and vulnerability of natural heritage According to the special natural circumstances (i.e. spatial differences in soil types, plant species, habitats etc.) the Hortobágy Case Study Area is divided by four territories. The heat and water related vulnerabilities have separately been determined for almost 100 species in the four territories.

On the basis of heat related vulnerability it has been revealed that the increase in temperature would be favorable at least three quarter of the species. Investigation of water related vulnerability has demonstrated that the responses to climate change are less advantageous. Almost 40% of the species would significantly suffer from water stress. The species of alkaline grasslands and loes grasslands (almost 30% of the species) would properly adapt to water shortage. There are 9 plant species (see below) which will be the looser of climate change in Hortobagy. These species are located in Territory A and C. Territory A is a tipical wetland, therefore this area is significantly affected by climate change. More than half of the species investigated in Territory A would be endangered by water stress.

Summary table of vulnerability in Hortobágy Case Study

Distribution of water related vulnerability by number of affected species

Ragweed Impact Case Study

The aim of this case study is to analyse the vulnerability of human health due to changes in pollen concentration of various allergenic with special interest to those of ragweed (Ambrosia), due to its highest pollen dispersion, and greatest allergenicity. A special Ragweed Case Study Area was defined around Szeged, south-east part of Hungary. The meteo-sensitivity of ragweed pollen concentrations was also assessed by multivariate statistical analysis.

There is statistically significant growing in pollen concentrations between the baseline and future periods. The average increase in pollen grains is between 10-40%. The number of days when the pollen concentrations exceed the health limit (100 grains/m3) are increase from 35 days (baseline period) to 58 days (future periods) The seasonal cycle of the pollen concentrations is also changed. The maximum pollenization is estimated to mid August in the baseline period, which is in good coincidence by the observed figures. In case of future run the maximum pollenization period is shifted to second half of August and expanded to end of September.

Simulated ragweed pollen concentrations for the baseline and future period

Monthly mean pollen concentrations

Change in pollen concentrations