Fire is the most significant natural threat to forests and wooded areas of the Mediterranean basin. The average annual number of forest fires in the Mediterranean basin, particularly in southern Europe, is close to 50,000 - twice as many as during the 1970s. The natural plant ecosystem of the Mediterranean basin is rich in shrubs and coniferous forests and, thus, particularly susceptible to fire. Meanwhile, summer periods are now warmer, drier and longer and projected changes in the climate suggest increases in the frequency and severity of forest fires.
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Disaster risk reduction
The increasing exposure to floods is a consequence of the river regulation and land reclamation works that shaped the landscape in the Tisza River floodplain. During the last 150 years an extensive flood defence and water management infrastructure has been constructed. Climate and land use change in the basin are increasing the frequency and magnitude of floods. The Hungarian Government has been pursuing a new flood defence strategy for the Tisza based on temporary reservoirs where peak flood-water can be released.
Historically, the Regge was a free-flowing shallow lowland river which meandered through a landscape containing marshes, wet meadows and sandy levees. To facilitate shipping, from 1848 onwards the river was straightened by cutting off meanders, and the river channel was deepened and widened. Dams were built to better regulate the river flow, and the floodplain was embanked to protect the adjacent land from flooding. In 1935, the river was almost completely canalised, reducing its length from roughly 70 km to 50 km.
Situated in East Anglia, Norfolk Broads (Broadland) is one of the finest areas of wetland in Britain. It includes both open water, the Broads themselves (a network of mostly navigable rivers and lakes), and the low-lying marshland surrounding the tidal reaches of the Yare, Waveney, Bure rivers and their tributaries. These rivers reach the sea at Great Yarmouth.
The UK is generally projected to experience increases in extremes of the precipitation regime as a result of climate change, especially in terms of higher occurrence and intensity of heavy summer rainfall events. An important resilience action to mitigate the impacts from such increases is the improvement of drainage management. Climate change resilience within Network Rail, the national railway infrastructure managing authority in Great Britain, is driven by corporate strategic objectives defined by the Weather Resilience and Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (WRCCA), finalized in 2017.
The Hedwige-Prosper polders project is part of the Belgian Sigma Plan: this integrated plan is reinforcing dikes and quay walls and opening flood areas to protect land along the Scheldt Estuary and the upstream basin against floods. In this specific project, the outer defences of the Hertogin-Hedwige (hereinafter referred to as Hedwige) and the Prosper polders – low lying areas of reclaimed land are being removed, reopening these areas to the tides.
Several energy transmission and distribution companies in the UK have begun to take the impact of increasing temperatures into consideration for the long-design of electricity distribution infrastructure. Rising temperatures can impact power lines by reducing their thermal rating (i.e. the maximum current allowed at a given temperature) and causing lines to sag to dangerous levels.
Hydropower is an essential part of the energy mix in France, accounting for around 20% of installed capacity. Climate change is projected to increase the frequency and intensity of extreme precipitation events and to accelerate snowmelt, which would result in increased flood risk. Flooding can adversely affect dams causing overtopping, outages, damage to equipment and adverse downstream impacts. It is essential that dam operators take these risks into consideration and implement adaptation measures as needed.
IRRINET is an IT irrigation system aiming to advise farmers on efficient water management. This web service was developed with public funding by the CER (Canale Emiliano Romagnolo, a water consortium located in the Emilia-Romagna region) based on a 1984 project which tested the use of telematics tools in agriculture in Emilia-Romagna. In 1999, with the arrival of Internet, IRRINET started to be developed in a web form and is still active and operative in this Italian region.
This case study considers a Finnish example of replacing overhead lines with underground cabling. The same strategy is also applied in other European countries. Elenia is the second largest electricity distribution system operator in Finland. To adhere to the outage requirements of Finland’s updated Electricity Market Act, distribution system operators such as Elenia are investing substantially in underground cabling.