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CLIPC: Constructing Europe's Climate Information Portal

CLIPC provides access to Europe's climate data and information.


Rural theme // rural-theme.jpg (399 K)Agriculture is the basis for our food supply and, with forestry, increasingly also the basis for other commodities in a bio-based economy. Cereals and potatoes provide our staple food, vegetables and fruits provide fibres and vitamins, feed crops provide (supplementary) animal nutrition for cattle and poultry which in turn provide animal proteins in human diets. First generation biofuels are produced from maize, sugar and oil crops. Crop residues are increasingly used to produce more modern biofuels. Forest products are used for construction, paper and energy supply. Though heavily influenced by socioeconomic drivers (such as the European Common Agricultural Policy) agricultural productivity is still susceptible to weather extremes and needs to strongly anticipate to impacts of climateclimate
Climate in a narrow sense is usually defined as the average weather, or more rigorously, as the statistical description in terms of the mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time ranging from months to thousands or millions of years. The classical period for averaging these variables is 30 years, as defined by the World Meteorological Organization. The relevant quantities are most often surface variables such as temperature, precipitation and wind. Climate in a wider sense is the state, including a statistical description, of the climate system.
long-term evolution, such as climate change and global warming. Trend analysis is used to describe trends, and can involve linear or multiple regression with time as a covariate. A trend model may be a straight line (linear) or more complex (polynomial), and the long-term rate of change can be described in terms of the time derivative from the trend model.

Climate trends may affect agricultural systems in a number of ways. Changes in temperature may lead to changing growing season lengths with implications for cropping calendars. E.g. high spring/summer temperatures may cause early seed maturation leading to reduced yields. Associated summer droughts may negatively impact yields even more (such as the 2003 European heat wave) and/or increase the demands for irrigation water. Early germination may also increase the risks of frost damage, especially to horticulture. More frequent extreme precipitation may also lead to damaged crops. High temperatures, when coinciding with high humidity, may increase the risk of pests. Changing weather patterns such as temperature and rain call for new agricultural techniques and practices adjusted to changes in local climatic conditions. In some regions, climate changeclimate change
Climate change refers to a change in the state of the climate that can be identified (e.g., by using statistical tests) by changes in the mean and/or the variability of its properties, and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer. Climate change may be due to natural internal processes or external forcings such as modulations of the solar cycles, volcanic eruptions and persistent anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use. Note that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in its Article 1, defines climate change as: 'a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods'. The UNFCCC thus makes a distinction between climate change attributable to human activities altering the atmospheric composition, and climate variability attributa
will bring new opportunities.

Largely similar issues apply to European forestry, however, this sector is much less rapidly adaptable to climate change and will require strategic long-term planning for future management and investments.

Climate change is expected to have a substantial impact on biodiversity, the functioning of ecosystems, and their ability to deliver ecosystem services on which society and economies depend. Mean climate change generally causes the optimal climatic range of biomes and ecosystems to migrate northwards in Europe. At the same time the increased likelihoodlikelihood
Probabilistic estimate of the occurrence of a single event or of an outcome, for example, a climate parameter, observed trend, or projected change lying in a given range. Likelihood may be based on statistical or modeling analyses, elicitation of expert views, or other quantitative analyses.
of climatic extremes will cause more frequent disturbances of sensitive ecosystems. Especially fragmentation of ecosystems and loss of connectivity between habitats in densely populated areas are seen as a constraint to the adaptive capacity and resilience of nature areas. Thus, climate change interacts and often exacerbates other pressures on biodiversity and, together with land-use change, is projected to become the greatest driver of global biodiversity loss. Although ecosystems are threatened by climate change, they are also part of the adaptationadaptation
The process of adjustment to actual or expected climate and its effects. In human systems, adaptation seeks to moderate harm or exploit beneficial opportunities. In natural systems, human intervention may facilitate adjustment to expected climate and its effects.
solution as they perform important services for society such as climate regulation, carbon sequestration, floodflood
The overflowing of the normal confines of a stream or other body of water, or the accumulation of water over areas that are not normally submerged. Floods include river (fluvial) floods, flash floods, urban floods, pluvial floods, sewer floods, coastal floods, and glacial lake outburst floods.
protection and the prevention of soil erosion. 

Diversity of ecosystems as well as of floristic and fauna composition has great intrinsic value as well as providing important material services. Wonder about nature’s beauty and complexity is highly valued in large parts of our society. Water retention and carbon sequestration are among the more prominent ecosystem services, as is maintaining a diverse genepool. Nature is also an important touristic attractor, providing opportunities to retreat from society’s mental stress and for active leisure activities.

Please visit the Climate impactClimate impact
See Impact Assessment
indicator toolkit for theme "Rural"
if you are interested in viewing available datasets and comparing them.