We are committed to one of the key future challenges: knowing the impact of climate change on the ocean, the coast, and marine resources, defining strategies to adapt to its effects and establishing mitigation measures.

Climate change affects all countries of the world, producing a negative impact on their economy, the lives of people and the communities. In the future it is expected that the consequences will be worse. Weather patterns are changing, thereby affecting the temperature, level and acidification of the sea, as well as the diversity of the species.

There are two possible approaches to address the problems arising as a result of climate change: on the one hand, reducing the causes of climate change such as greenhouse gas emissions (mitigation) and, on the other hand, adapting to the new climate conditions in order to reduce the damage or benefit from new opportunities (adaptation).

To address this problem, at AZTI we are working on the assessment of vulnerability and impact of climate change on the ocean and coastal areas. The aim is to advise public administrations so they can: develop plans that allow to anticipate and minimise the impact of climate change on marine resources and ecosystems and coastal urban areas; preserve habitats of interest, vulnerable species; and sustainably manage fishing and marine spatial planning.

Our research projects are based on four areas::

Observation, trends and generation of system models

We study (via habitat and ecosystem models) how future climate conditions may affect the population distribution, abundance and dynamics of different species and important trophic groups within the ecosystem.

Simulation of future scenarios

We simulate future scenarios and provide advice for public administrations regarding possible changes in ocean-climate conditions.

Impact, vulnerability and adaptation assessment

To minimise the impact of climate change on marine resources, natural ecosystems and coastal urban areas, we have specialised in defining the best ways to adapt to future climate change scenarios (impact risk and vulnerability indicator mapping); in the study of corrective measures and preparation of contingency plans. We define how goods and services provided by ecosystems could be impacted and analyse the socio-economic cost of adapting, even analysing new business opportunities that may arise in the sector.

Climate change mitigation

We study possible corrective measures and assess their environmental and economic efficiency and impact.