The Slovenian Environment Agency (ARSO) and the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning (MOP) presented the first projections for climate change in Slovenia until the end of the century, as a consequence of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.
Barbara Simonič from the department for climate change at MOP, stressed that is was equally important to start both adapting to and softening the effects of climate change, which can already be seen in the form of extreme weather events, such as ice storms, flashfloods or the melting of the Triglav glacier. Most exposed to such events is central Slovenia, which is also a well-developed region and therefore adjusting the most to such events.
ARSO, in its projections on what kind of climate change Slovenia will face until the start of the 22nd century, presented three different scenarios – from the most optimistic to the most pessimistic with regards to the global reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (the most optimistic is in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change).
It all depends on the emissions
Mojca Dolinar, who heads the sector for climate analysis at ARSO, warned that the projections are uncertain as it is not clear how the greenhouse gas emission scenarios will unfold in the future. That is why the projections should not be considered a forecast. "When making projections, we have to realize that they’re burdened with uncertainty. We don’t know what we, as humans, will be able to do regarding greenhouse gas emissions. Changes in the future will very much depend on whether we succeed in reducing greenhouse gas emissions or not. When we look at the scenarios for the future, we have to think about which greenhouse gas emission scenarios we’d like to consider," explained Dolinar.
Despite the fact that the projections are uncertain, they are important for adapting to climate change. Last but not least, the European Union will, reportedly, demand in the new financial perspective that all projects co-financed by the EU include climate change estimates.
"The projections have been prepared as a basis, which can help us adapt to climate change. They can also help many strategic projects, which have a long lifespan and have to be resilient to climate change. One of the EU demands for all the bigger investment projects is for them to be resilient to climate change. So, everyone planning such projects needs our projections," said the climatologist. She added that climate change is already affecting all sectors and that the most vulnerable is the agriculture sector. Tourism is also already affected by climate change, especially ski tourism.