RECAST - REviewing Climate change simulations for enhanced Adaptation in Sectors and Technical infrastructure: implications of growing weather variability and uncertainty for weather sensitive capital intensive systems


The RECAST study aims to assess the impacts of climate change induced uncertainty and growth of climate variability on the social and economic coping range of selected infrastructure and real estate, with the aim to generate insights, methods and procedures that enable better adaptation to climate change, i.e. leading to recasting of asset management approaches.

In addition the following supplementary objectives are pursued:

Assessing to what extent the change in uncertainty in coping ranges requires anticipatory adaptation in order to avoid significant (damage) cost or not to forego benefitsAssessing what sort of adaptation is effective, depending on the extent and pace of change of the considered uncertainty on coping range, and what would be the order of magnitude of avoided (damage) cost of adequate adaptationAssessing to what extent the functioning of considered markets can be enhanced with respect to the ability to adapt to effects of climate change, and to what extent further intervention is needed due to inherent myopia of these markets and/or due to deep uncertainty

Study Structure

The study is organised in three work packages. Work package no.1 (WP1) deals with the analysis of the uncertainty of climate data and climate change simulation output in the context of their intended use in subsequent stages of analysis and decision making. More in particular a new approach is developed for estimating extremes on the basis of observed past extremes without prior assumptions regarding the type of underlying distribution.

The second work package (WP2) is focusing on the generation and analysis of coping range relevant information derived from climate change simulations. More in particular candidates for improved bias correction methods are tested regarding RCM output for temperature and precipitation and their behaviour regarding realizations at the high end of daily precipitation and temperature. This includes also review of the consequences of different extents of spatial smoothing climate data.

The third work package (WP3) assesses the implications of changed variability and its uncertainty for economic analysis and decision making with respect to adaptation of hydro power management and urban real estate valuation. Consequences of increased climate variability per season for hydro power management are assessed by means of real options approaches, and entail the use of both a hydrological model of Nordic countries' river basins and self-developed explorative real options decision models. The consequences for urban real estate value formation are explored by means of a spatially explicit rich hedonic pricing model, with special reference to various ecosystem service effects. The model results provide the basis for urban simulation model oriented towards appraisal of adaptation solutions, such as green roofs.

In later phases of the project WP1 will serve WP2 and WP3, whereas also interaction between WP2 and WP3 is taken up

Output to date


In WP 1 an optimal and iterative extreme value analysis method has been developed and demonstrated in an extensive extreme climate data analysis for Europe (Vajda et al. 2012). The method has provided good results and is more powerful than the conventional maximum-likelihood-method in analysing the probability of extremes from short records.

That the plotting position in extreme value analysis is explicitly P = m/(N+1) has been proven directly from the fundamentals of statistics (Makkonen et al. 2012a). This removes the methodological uncertainty related to more than ten plotting position formulae used so far.

The work in WP 1 alters the foundations of statistical analysis. We, for example, propose a new definition for the empirical distribution function and the quantile function (Makkonen & Pajari 2012).

From WP1 there are so far 12 publications out of which 3 in peer reviewed journals and 3 submitted. The most important publications are:


Bias correction methods: Several methods of combining climate model data with baseline observations to produce scenarios of daily temperature and precipitation variability in the future have been tested using regional climate model simulations from the ENSEMBLES project. A cross-validation approach suggests that (i) quantile-quantile type bias correction methods as a whole have the best potential to provide plausible daily time series and statistics of future temperature and precipitation climate, but that (ii) the methodological uncertainty may be best dealt with by using several well-performing delta change and bias correction methods simultaneously.

Hydrological modelling: Simulations of present-day hydrology have been started with the HYPE model developed at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute. Next, hydrological scenarios for the future will be developed by replacing the present-day temperature and precipitation input of HYPE with temperature and precipitation scenarios based on bias-corrected ENSEMBLES regional climate model simulations.

There are so far 4 publications and conference presentations:


Hydro power: Owing to maternity leave this segment of the study started in earnest in September 2012. The HYPE hydrological model system has been acquired from SMHI in co-operation with Helsinki University. Also co-operation with VTT electricity market modellers is developing. First explorations into real options based modelling applications have been made.

Urban real estate: A GIS based dataset has been created with data on 330000 dwelling prices in selected Finnish cities and many characteristics of the involved dwellings covering the period 1970-2011. To this is added spatial information on nearness to water, (urban) green, distance to main city centre, and access to transport services. Addition of high resolution observed climate data and of flood risk areas is in process. A large part of hedonic price estimations is carried out, which paves the way for building an urban simulation model with special reference to ecosystem services and appraisal of adaptation measures. The work entails close co-operation with the HENVI ENSURE project.

There are so far 6 publications and conference presentations:

Other activities

About every 6 months a RECAST workshop has been held in which new results were presented and next steps discussed. All partners have actively participated in all workshops, often with several presentations, whereas also presentations from co-operating projects (in VTT & FMI) were presented. Networking is expected to intensify as the emphasis shifts to impact analysis.

Various researchers of RECAST have contributed to the Synthesis Report of the national climate change adaptation programme (ISTO)[1], which provides a state of the art of climate change impacts and adaptation knowledge relevant for Finland.

The 2nd Nordic International Climate Change Adaptation Conference 29-31.8.2012 in Helsinki was kindly supported by the Academy's FICCA programme. Various RECAST researchers were active in the organisation and in paper contributions for the conference.

Partners: Helsinki University (HY); Technical Research Institute of Finland (VTT); Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI, coordinator)

Contact persons: Adriaan Perrels (FMI); Jouni Räsäinen (HY); Lasse Makkonen (VTT)


[1] . Ruuhela, R. (Toim.), 2012. Miten väistämättömään ilmastonmuutokseen voidaan varautua? Yhteenveto Suomalaisesta sopeutumistutkimuksesta eri toimialoilla. MMM, 176 s..

Link to RECAST's website

Last modified 17 Jul 2015
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