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Frequently Asked Questions about SPARCCLE

Learn more aboiut the organisation and objectives of the SPARCCLE project, and its contribution to our understanding of climate change impacts in Europe and beyond. If you need to know more, contact us.

What is climate change?

Climate change refers to significant changes in global temperatures and weather patterns over time. While climate change is a natural phenomenon, scientific evidence conclusively shows that overwhelmingly human activities, particularly the emission of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane, are currently driving an unprecedented rate of change. This is leading to global warming, sea level rise, and more extreme weather events.

Why is more research on climate risks in Europe needed?

Research on climate risks in Europe is crucial due to its diverse climate zones and the varied impacts of climate change across these regions on the environment, society and the economy. Our understanding of climate change impacts and risks continues to improve, but knowledge gaps remain. Society is also changing rapidly, so understanding how both the climate and society might change is key to understanding the risks and our options to respond.

We need to prepare for the effects of climate change, such as floods, droughts, heatwaves and shifts in biodiversity, which can have profound consequences and will vary from place to place and through time. This research is essential for informed decision-making and policy development to enhance resilience and adaptation strategies across European nations.

What does SPARCCLE stand for?

SPARCCLE is the project title acronym and stands for Socioeconomic Pathways, Adaptation and Resilience to a Changing CLimate in Europe.

What is the SPARCCLE project?

SPARCCLE is a research project dedicated to understanding risks of climate change to the society and economy of Europe.

SPARCCLE will support people, organisations and government make better decisions to reduce risks and build resilience to climate change.

What are the main objectives of the SPARCCLE project?
  • Development of quantitative methods for assessing climate hazards, damages and risks
  • Deliver detailed projections of how society develops, improving understanding of vulnerability to climate change
  • Understanding how climate mitigation and adaptation measures can work together or against each other
  • Co-creation with public and private stakeholders so that project outputs can inform decision-making
  • Explore stress-test scenarios to help Europe prepare for plausible, high-impact socioeconomic climate risks
Who are the stakeholders involved in the SPARCCLE project and how is the project managed?

The project engages with a wide range of stakeholders including policymakers, public & private sectors, scientific communities, and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC). Together this comprises our Extended Stakeholder Network. If you’d be interested in hearing about our stakeholder events and outreach, please get in touch via the contact form.

Day-to-day activities in the project are coordinated by the Secretariat, based at IIASA. An Executive Board, comprising one member from each Partner organisation, handles internal project decision-making. The project progress is also reviewed externally by experts appointed by the European Commission, as well as the SPARCCLE Stakeholder Advisory Board (SAB).

How is this research project contributing to our understanding of climate change impacts in Europe?

This project aims to deepen our understanding of how climate change is impacting various aspects of life in Europe, including ecosystems, economies, and communities. By employing advanced scientific methods and technologies, the project investigates specific changes already underway, projects future impacts under different scenarios, and explores potential adaptation and mitigation strategies.

What about climate risks outside of Europe?

SPARCCLE will also investigate how climate risks in other regions of the world potentially affect Europe, known as spillover effects. For example, climate impacts might affect the production and supply chains of food, materials, and products in other countries. The effects may be direct, such that there are delays or shortages in supply, or may have impacts such as raising global market prices which affect consumers and competitiveness of business in Europe.

Thus the project involves various activities with global scope, in relation to how  climate impacts in even distant places, may have knock-on effects in Europe.

Who is funding and supporting this research project?

The project is funded by the European Commission Horizon Europe funding (#101081369) for EU Partners. Additionally, the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), an d UK Research and Innovation fund the associated participation of ETH Zürich and Imperial College London, respectively.

How can I get involved or contribute to this project?

There are several ways to get involved, such as participating in online webinars, staying informed by subscribing to our newsletter, following our updates on LinkedIn and X, and testing out data dashboards when they are released.