Measures to minimise impact on resources

To minimise the impact of climate change on resources, natural ecosystems and coastal urban areas, AZTI specialises in:

  • Definition of adaptation criteria and contingency plans to fight against climate change.
  • Monitoring and processing of physical, chemical and biological variables using own or external networks (e.g. tide gauges, remote sensing).
  • Statistical analysis of time series and validation of climate, oceanographic, geomorphological and ecological models (habitat of species, communities, ecosystem).
  • Future scenario simulation: regional scenarios at physical (geomorphological models) and ecological level (coupling of habitat and geomorphological models to climate change); handling of global scenarios (e.g. IPPC AOGCM models).
  • Scenario simulation and guidance on climate-ocean regime shift and species migration.
  • Impact and vulnerability assessment and coastal adaptation: urban environment, natural physical environment, ecosystems, species migration, habitat change, marine resources.
  • Effect on goods and services provided by ecosystems and socio-economic cost effectiveness of adaptation.
  • Risk mapping of impacts and vulnerability indicators.
  • Climate change adaptation consultancy (land-use planning, ecosystem conservation).

Knowledge of how climate change will affect the coastal area helps to minimise the effect of climate change on resources, natural ecosystems and coastal urban areas, as well as to anticipate the effects of sea level rise, such as flooding, in urban areas.

Applicable sectors

  • Public Administrations (city councils, governments, etc.)
  • Fisheries sector
  • Tourist sector


  • Minimise impact of climate change on resources and natural ecosystems.
  • Improve marine resources’s conservation of  and manage sustainably fisheries and the marine space management.
  • Preserve community interest habitats, vulnerable species and ecosystems in line with expected sea level rise, estuarine and beach morphodynamic changes, migration of species due to displacement of suitable habitat.

Over 15 years experience in climate change has enabled AZTI to become a benchmark technology centre in the field.


  • Over 15 years experience (since 2003).
  • Organization of UHINAK, Cross-Border Conference on Climate and Coastal Change.
  • Technologies:
    • Global climate model analysis techniques
    • Species habitat models
    • Multi-habitat models
    • Time series analysis techniques
    • Hydromorphodynamic model for estuaries
    • Flooding models based on sea level rise and variability
    • Remote spatial (satellite) and airborne sensors
    • Geographic Information Systems
    • Community and connectivity analysis techniques
  • Multi-disciplinary work team: physical, chemical and biological oceanography, ecology, socio-economics, genetics, geography, geology

Proven track record

  • Climate change adaptation criteria on the Basque coast due to sea level rise, extreme waves, rainfall.
  • Flood risk assessment of the Oka River, estuaries in Bizkaia, impact on Bidasoa River (Lidar, Inunda and Vulnerhab projects).
  • Study of Basque marine and coastal environment (K-egokitzen and EKLIMA21 projects).
  • Ecosystem and biodiversity vulnerability assessment of European seas (FP7-DEVOTES).
  • Marine spatial planning studies for European marine protected areas (FP7-MESMA).
  • Primary production and environmental status trends in European seas (FP7-WISER).
  • Impact of sea level rise and sea warming in seagrass beds (Zostera noltii).
  • Coastal water monitoring network and environmental status trends for the Basque water quality network.
  • Tide gauge and sea temperature trends through the development of an automatic on-line climate indicator updating process (DECLIM).
  • 7 doctoral theses on climate change.