Climate Change Adaptation in the Carpathian Mountain Region

Saskia Elisabeth Werners, Sándor Szalai, Henk Zingstra, Éva Kőpataki, Andreas Beckmann, Ernst Bos, Kristijan Civic, Tomas Hlásny, Orieta Hulea, Matthias Jurek, Hagen Koch, Attila Csaba Kondor, Aleksandra Kovbasko, M. Lakatos, Stijn Lambert, Richard Peters, Jiří Trombik, Ilse Van De Velde, István Zsuffa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The Carpathian mountain region is one of the most significant natural refuges on the European continent. It is home to Europe’s most extensive tracts of montane forest, the largest remaining virgin forest and natural mountain beech-fir forest ecosystems. Adding to the biodiversity are semi-natural habitats such as hay meadows, which are the result of centuries of traditional land management. Like other mountain regions areas, the Carpathian mountain region provides important ecosystem goods and services such as water provision, food products, forest products and tourism. But these ecosystem services are feared to be under threat from climate change.

This chapter reports on climate trends, impacts and adaptation options. Analysis of climate trends show an increase in annual mean temperature of 1.1–2.0 °C over the last 50 years (1961–2010), further increasing by 3.5–4.0 °C towards the end of the century. Precipitation changes are dispersed with an increase of 300–400 mm in the north and decrease of 100–150 mm in the south regions. Summer precipitation is projected to reduce by 20 %, whereas winter precipitation is projected to increase in most areas by 5–20 % by the year 2100. Both future scenarios and observations show high spatial variability and uncertainty. The same holds for the impacts on the investigated sectors water resources, forests, wetlands, grasslands, agriculture and tourism.

The review of climate trends and adaptation options, inspired a strategic agenda on adaptation to be implemented under the regional Carpathian Convention. Planning for climate change adaptation benefits from transnational cooperation because many impacts relate to seasonal and geographical shifts across borders. This is true for the natural system (e.g. shifts in species distribution and snow cover) as well as for socio-economic activities like agriculture, forestry and tourism (e.g. shifting opportunities for growing crops and changes in the tourist season). Examples of adaptation exist, yet need to be communicated for wider adoption. Essential components of adaptation will be capacity building and information sharing, climate-proofing of infrastructure and investments, promotion of eco-system based adaptation measures and making biodiversity management more dynamic.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationClimate Change Adaptation Strategies : An Upstream-downstream Perspective
EditorsNadine Salzmann, Christian Huggel, Samuel U. Nussbaumer, Gina Ziervogel
PublisherSpringer International Publishing Switzerland
ISBN (Electronic)9783319407739
ISBN (Print)9783319407715
Publication statusPublished - 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'Climate Change Adaptation in the Carpathian Mountain Region'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this