Climate change in Latvia

Publicēts: 16.02.2016

As a part of the project “Development of Proposal for National Adaptation Strategy, Including Identification of Scientific Data, Measures for Adapting to Changing Climate, Impact and Cost Evaluation” Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre (LEGMC) is performing an analysis of long term climate data as well as developing climate change scenarios for Latvia.

Climate or the average weather over a long period of time is of a great importance to various economics, which are dependent from specific climate conditions. It is important to make an assessment of various meteorological parameter long-term trends in Latvia, as the global climate change is undeniable also in Europe. Therefore LEGMC is performing an in-depth analysis of 3 meteorological parameters (air temperature, precipitation, wind direction and speed) trends during the last 50 years. The results show increasing trends in air temperature data, with the highest increase in winter and spring months. The length of the growing season shows a positive trend during the last 50 years as well (figure 1).

Figure 1.  The length of growing season (days) in Latvia (1961- 2010)

The results indicate also a significant change in precipitation. The amount of precipitation has increased and more often heavy (figure 2) and very heavy precipitation are observed.

Figure 2. Number of days in a year with heavy (≥10 mm) precipitation (1961- 2010)

In-depth analysis of climate records is significant in order to be aware of the climate change and to be able to adapt to the changes in future. In the further development of the project it is planned to model the climate change scenarios for Latvia till the year 2100. The research will be based on the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Report (AR5) adopted greenhouse gas concentration scenarios.

The results will allow to evaluate the current climate change in context with future changes. The research and its results will serve as a support tool, when assessment and development of climate change adaption strategy in various economics is will be needed.