EVER PROMETEO

 “Extreme Events Affecting the Valencian Region:
Heat waves, droughts, megafires and air pollution (EVER)”
[CIPROM/2022/37]

 

Climate change is the greatest threat modern humans have ever faced as it is the main cause of the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as droughts, floods, heatwaves and cyclones, already being experienced today (IPCC, 2021). Climate change has and will have profound implications on multiple aspects of human societies as it affects all sectors that assure our security, food production, access to freshwater, habitable ambient temperature, or adequate conditions for healthy living.

The Mediterranean region is a critical point of climate change that suffers and will suffer severely from the consequences of global warming and extreme phenomena (Cramer et al., 2020). In fact, several types of risks currently affect and will continue affecting the region, from more frequent extreme weather events such as heat waves, droughts or floods, to coastal erosion due to rising sea levels, devastating forest fires or increased pollution. Especially in urban areas, the sequential or concurrent combination of hazards is even more disastrous than individual events. The impacts affect the region’s ecosystems, economic activities and, ultimately, human health. In addition, the effects also spread like “cascades” that generate multiple impacts in all socioeconomic sectors.

Effective strategies to respond to the effects of climate change, reducing and managing the associated risks, require a better understanding of risks and impacts, and their interaction with mitigation and adaptation measures. However, scientific communities and decision-makers with specific experience in these issues perceive and evaluate isolated risks and/or solutions on their own spatial, temporal and sectoral scales, perceiving only isolated risks. Different disciplines are moving in parallel to address the same climate change challenges without interacting and thus missing out on the potential to produce added value from their common efforts. A better understanding of the impacts of climate change requires effective dialogue and planning through integrated responses, beyond isolated approaches, to promote effective science-based and stakeholder decision-making leading to more effective climate policies.

The objective of EVER is to satisfy this need by applying integrated actions in order to increase our knowledge about extreme events, their impacts and their interactions in the western Mediterranean basin. To do this, EVER project meets a multidisciplinary group of experts in different relevant topics related to global change. The group will apply a broad approach that will allow to advance knowledge beyond the current state of the art, with a particular focus on efficient transfer to policymakers, and to the society in general.

To this end, extreme events affecting the Valencian region, namely heat extremes, megafires and intense air pollution will be characterized and evaluated considering their impacts on ecosystems and urban environments. EVER will adopt a holistic approach, including fundamental research oriented to understand extreme events’ processes, trends and impacts, the development of management innovations for mitigation and adaptation, and knowledge transfer to the relevant stakeholders at the various governance levels. EVER will investigate processes related to extreme events affecting marine and terrestrial ecosystems, and will put special emphasis on cascading processes: heat waves-droughts-forest fires-SST positive anomalies-extreme rainfall. Finally, EVER will take into account actions to mitigate extreme events through ecosystem management techniques that can have a positive impact on the carbon and water balance, and soils performance.

The objectives of this proposal fall into the main European Strategies (Biodiversity Strategy 2030, Green Deal, Horizon Europe Program), the Spanish strategy of science and innovation (PNIEC, PNACC), and the Valencian strategy of Climate Change and Energy (ECCECV, PVIECC 2030).

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Publications

  • Becerra, P.I., Arellano, E.C., Vilagrosa, A., Hernández, G., Figueroa, C. 2024. The provision of water and shade but not soil amendments in degraded habitats increases the seedling survival of woody species in restoration processes of the Chilean sclerophyllous forest. TREES-STRUCT FUNCT, 38:523-535. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00468-024-02500-1
  • Calatayud, V., Cariñanos, P. 2024. Mapping pollen allergenicity from urban trees in Valencia: A tool for green infrastructure planning. ENVIRON RES, 252:118823- https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2024.118823

Participating people