Climate Change and Impact Research: the Mediterranean Environment
April 2007 until March 2011
501.000 € funded by EU - European Union: FP6
Carlo Jäger
PIK number / OEH

CIRCE aims at developing for the first time an assessment of the climate change impacts in the Mediterranean area. The objectives of the project are: - to predict and to quantify physical impacts of climate change in the Mediterranean area; - to evaluate the consequences of climate change for the society and the economy of the populations located in the Mediterranean area; - to develop an integrated approach to understand combined effects of climate change; - to identify adaptation and mitigation strategies in collaboration with regional stakeholders. CIRCE wants to understand and to explain how climate will change in the Mediterranean area. The project will investigate how global and Mediterranean climates interact, how the radiative properties of the atmosphere and the radiative fluxes vary, the interaction between cloudiness and aerosol, the modifications in the water cycle. Recent observed modifications in the climate variables and detected trends will be compared. The economic and social consequences of climate change shall be evaluated by analysing direct impacts on migration, tourism and energy markets together with indirect impacts on the economic system. CIRCE will moreover investigate the consequences on agriculture, forests and ecosystems, human health and air quality. The variability of extreme events in the future scenario and their impacts will be assessed. A rigorous common framework, including a set of quantitative indicators developed specifically for the Mediterranean environment will be developed and used in collaboration with regional stakeholders. The results will be incorporated in a decision support system tool and disseminated to the relevant users. Possible adaptation and mitigation strategies will be identified. The integrated results discussed by the project CIRCE will be presented in the first Regional Assessment of Climate Change in the Mediterranean area. The knowledge yielded by the different specialised investigations will then be linked in an integrated inter-disciplinary approach designed to study the total effect of climate change and to make a powerful contribution to the definition and evaluation of adaptation and mitigation strategies. CIRCE brings together the natural sciences community and social community in a new integrated and comprehensive way. The duration of CIRCE is set at four years.

The CIRCE Integrated Project, funded under the European Commission's Sixth Framework Programme, aimed to consider climate change in the Mediterranean region, that includes Europe, North Africa and Middle East, in a complex and multifaceted way. With the help of new scientific methods, it focused on social dynamics, economic issues, effects on human health, impacts on agriculture and forest and many other criteria, highlighting impacts and possible adaptation actions. The Final Conference of CIRCE, held in Rome on 23-25 May 2011, closed with an encouraging take home message: scientific knowledge (from climatology to meterology, from economics to ecology) provides elements more and more relevant to estimate ongoing climate change effects and to implement adaptation and mitigation policies. Our work was located in a research line on the Relevant Societal Dynamics, including the study of patterns of economic growth, development policies, unemployment disparities, as well as risk management practices and training.