Characterization of European cities’ climate shift – an exploratory study based on climate analogues

G.T. Rohat, S. Goyette, J. Flacke

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19 Citations (Scopus)
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Purpose: Climate analogues have been extensively used in ecological studies to assess the shift of ecoregions due to climate change and the associated impacts on species survival and displacement, but they have hardly been applied to urban areas and their climate shift. This paper aims to use climate analogues to characterize the climate shift of cities and to explore its implications as well as potential applications of this approach.

Design/methodology/approach: The authors propose a methodology to match the current climate of cities with the future climate of other locations and to characterize cities’ climate shift velocity. Employing a sample of 90 European cities, the authors demonstrate the applicability of this method and characterize their climate shift from 1951 to 2100.

Findings: Results show that cities’ climate shift follows rather strictly north-to-south transects over the European continent and that the average southward velocity is expected to double throughout the twenty-first century. These rapid shifts will have direct implications for urban infrastructure, risk management and public health services.

Originality/value: These findings appear to be potentially useful for raising awareness of stakeholders and urban dwellers about the pace, magnitude and dynamics of climate change, supporting identification of the future climate impacts and vulnerabilities and implementation of readily available adaptation options, and strengthening cities’ cooperation within climate-related networks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-452
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018




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