Climate change: North Atlantic comparisons

Climate impacts and adaptation in Iceland. Despite the large uncertainty in climate change predictions, the (Icelandic) Government has begun to consider potential impacts and adaptation needs. For example, the National Energy Authority and the Icelandic Meteorological Office participated in a Nordic project assessing the effects of climate change on hydroelectricity production. Warmer temperatures could increase meltwater from the glaciers, increasing the flow in glacial rivers and hence benefit power production. Sea-level rise is also a concern, as the population is primarily located in settlements along the coast. The Government has commissioned analysis of the danger of flooding and land erosion, along with an assessment of the available measures to minimise consequent damages to roads, harbours and property. Potential sea-level rise will be taken into account when harbour infrastructure needs to be rebuilt. The conversion from oil-based space heating to geothermal sources was achieved over a period of 25 years. Following the establishment of an energy fund in the 1950s to provide infrastructure to connect even remote areas to the grid, oil use for heating fell from over 40% in the 1970s to less than 2% in 1998. .asp

Kerr, A. and S. Allen, 2001: Climate change: North Atlantic comparisons. University of Edinburgh, The Scottish Executive Central Research Unit, Scottish Executive,

Anticipating long-term climate change

Strong link made by authors

climate disaster


Large number


Sustainable development


Requires large investment


Multipliers could be significant

Long term (20 or more years)

Managed resource

Neutral or ambiguous effect

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