2019.09.30 11:55

Climate study predicts 40 degree summers in the Baltics 2019.09.30 11:55

A climate study commissioned by Rail Baltica, a project linking the Baltic states and Poland via a European-gauge railway, found that the Baltics will experience more regular heatwaves, summer-high temperatures will rise to 40 degrees C, and the most severe sea-level rise will take place around Klaipėda.

The main objective of the study was to prepare for the upcoming climate changes during the whole lifecycle of the new railway line, ensuring that infrastructure is sustainable and prepared for different climate change scenarios.

The study aims to prepare Rail Baltic for all possible climate change scenarios during the project's lifecycle.

Based on the results of previous studies in Lithuania, the Baltic Sea cost is most vulnerable to climate change. Ecosystems, as well as local population will be affected by sea-level rise, storm and hurricane winds, water warming and salinity changes.

The water level will rise highest around Klaipėda, in the south-eastern coast of the Baltic Sea.

Additionally, the study expects more heavy rainfalls and thunderstorms in the region, as a result of higher air temperatures. The study notes, however, that there is much uncertainty in the long-term predictions about storms and wind speeds in the future climate projections.

Rail Baltica is due for completion in 2026, with the total cost of the project estimated at around 5.7 billion euros. In the 2014-2020 budget period, Rail Baltica is 85-percent funded by the EU.