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Lapporten. Photo: Professor Kristina Nilsson, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Planning for climate changes in Lapland

Published: 1 October 2014

Future climate change will alter not only affect the weather but also the landscape. This will in turn affect land use and how people can make a living in mountain areas; reindeer herders, tourism, hunters, fishermen, conservationists and others. In addition, the mountain areas for outdoor recreation, as well as national and international tourism, which also affected both positively and negatively.

In a new sub-project Luleå University have sought, collected and presented knowledge of how climate change impacts nature, people and operations conditions in the Swedish mountains. This was compiled in the report Planning for climate change adaptation in sub-arctic mountain areas. The report is intended to be used by municipalities, residents, reindeer herders, turistidkare Others when planning for new buildings or facilities.

Professor Kristina L. Nilsson. Photo: Per Pettersson
Professor Kristina L. Nilsson. Photo: Per Pettersson

The changes that have already begun to show is that the tree line moves up along the mountain slopes, which changes and förbuskar landscape and reduces grazing land. More variations of 0-limit form sheet of ice so that the reindeer have been difficult to reach food. Future climate change also brings greater precipitation, which provides powerful water flow and risk of landslides. This must be taken into account when buildings are placed and new roads required. Global climate change may lead to decreasing supply of snow in the Alps and more winter tourists come to Scandinavia. This can be positive for tourism facilities with the increasing number of visitors and income.

–   The best way to be prepared for the future is with knowledge. By planning, we can avoid future damage to buildings and roads says Professor Kristina L Nilsson, research in Architecture at Luleå University.

The biodiversity will also be affected by climate change. It is very possible that the total number of species will increase in a warmer climate, which could lead to increased biodiversity. However, it is important to take into account that some northern species in danger of disappearing. In the mountain regions emerges effects of climate change more evident than in many other ecosystems.

–  In order to get an effective climate adaptation, based on both an ecological and a technical perspective, methods for ecosystem-based adaptation to climate change used in planning, eg work with local government comprehensive plans, says Kristina.

The study was conducted at Luleå University of Technology by researchers in the architecture group at the Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering. It deals with issues of land use and spatial planning and annual sales of findings from several of the other sub-projects to the factors that serve as background material or aspects that deal with the practical application of planning situations.

Luleå University of Technology has conducted this study in the interdisciplinary research project Climate change, climate impacts and adaptation in Sub-Arctic, a case study from northern mountain areas of Sweden, who started from the Abisko Scientific Research Station. The project has focused on land use gradually changed and how it can adapt to future climate change. Other sub-studies of the project has developed models for detailed, scaled-down assessments of local data for climate, vegetation, snöfördelning, biodiversity and natural resources. These data form the basis for adaptation of land use. The overall results intended to be used for the development of local and regional planning strategies for different levels of spatial planning of land use in the sub-arctic mountain areas. Coordinator has been the Royal Academy of Sciences, with parties except from Luleå University of Technology, Lund University, Sheffield University, SMHI.

The large multidisciplinary project, with its sub-projects have been financed by Formas, Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning.

Kristina Nilsson

Nilsson, Kristina - Professor

Organisation: Architecture, Architecture and Water, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering
Phone: +46 (0)920 491678
Room: T3067 - Luleå»