Ports are crucial to their national economy, and their importance will increase due to the expected rise in international trade. However, ports are also susceptible to the effects of climate change, including variations in waves, sea level rise, and heatwaves. Consequently, ports face a common challenge of adapting to these climate change impacts to avoid disruptions in their operations. Considering the prevalent just-in-time production models, any port closures, whether total or partial, would significantly affect industries and freight distribution centers.
Therefore, it is essential for ports to implement effective climate change adaptation strategies. Such strategies require tools that provide a comprehensive understanding of the localized impacts of climate change. Current models, which are global in nature and cover extensive timeframes, are insufficient for effective decision-making. The ECCLIPSE (assEssment of CLImate change in Ports of Southwest Europe) collaborative project (2019-2023) focused on addressing these challenges. ECCLIPSE has undertaken an analysis of the impact of climate change in ports, developed tools and models for early prediction, raised awareness about the consequences of climate change, and defined port strategies for prevention and action to minimize its effects.
The main outcomes of the project include:
- The development and application of a common methodology to ensure consistent results in all ports using the same scientific and technical criteria.
- Mechanisms to design and implement climate change adaptation measures in ports across the European port network.
- Climate projections for each port have been stored in a dedicated climate database. This database facilitates the study of climate change impacts in specific locations, aiding the planning and design of new port infrastructures.
- Each port has established a Climate Change Observatory to monitor the impacts of climate change within their respective areas.
Overall, the efforts of ECCLIPSE have contributed significantly to the advancement of climate change adaptation strategies in ports, ensuring the resilience and continuity of port operations facing a changing climate.