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AdriaClim – Climate change information, monitoring and management tools for adaptation strategies in Adriatic coastal areas


28 Jun 2023


Sustainable Dev.

AdriaClim is the acronym of the research project funded by the Italy-Croatia Interreg Cooperation Programme dedicated to supporting the development of science-based regional and local climate change adaptation plans. AdriaClim addresses climate change threats by developing regional and local adaptation plans based on up-to-date meteorological and oceanographic information acquired through newly implemented observing and modeling systems for the Adriatic Sea.

The project implementation started on January 1, 2020, and lasts 42 months. The total value of the project amounts to 8,823,415.00 euros, 85 percent of which are grants financed from the ERDF as part of the Interreg cross-border cooperation program Italy-Croatia.

The partner consortium consists of 19 partners from Croatia and Italy who worked on climate change adaptation through different activities. Below are highlighted the most significant activities by project partners.


The main CNR-ISMAR activities within the AdriaClim Project focused on improving, observing, and modeling the Adriatic climate capacity. They improved the monitoring capacity in the Gulf of Trieste and modeling hydrodynamics in the Veneto Pilot by simulating present and future (up to 2050) coastal sea and lagoon conditions. The modeling results were elaborated to obtain a simplified dataset and maps of the possible climate change impact on extreme sea levels and marine heat waves.

CNR-ISMAR coordinated the activities related to the definition and selection of climate indicators to be used for describing the expected vulnerability, hazards, and impacts in the Adriatic region and specifically in the project pilot areas. Climate indicators were also used to provide a list of quality-checked information (observations and model output) available for each of the project’s pilot areas.


The meteo-climatic observation system on the coast was improved with the installation by ARPA Veneto of 2 new complete weather stations and upgrading 4 existing measurement sites with new types of sensors such as nefo-ipsometers, present weather sensors, and 4-component net radiometers. ISPRA also implemented its observational system on the Veneto coast by installing 3 new meteo-marine stations with wave buoys and atmospheric sensors in the Po River delta area.

In order to provide indicators, anomalies, and climate trends to the Project partners, ARPAV processed data from the last 30 years and EURO-CORDEX projections, creating the Thredds node of the public data server. CNR-ISMAR analyzed sea and lagoon data, calculating trends over the last thirty years and projecting them into the near future, and implemented the SHYFEM model on a domain representing the Lagoon of Venice and part of the Veneto coast considering climatic changes as well as the effects of the MOSE closure.

ZADRA NOVA DEVELOPMENT AGENCY installed an Innovative Aquaweb system that collects moisture from the air and allows irrigation in dry periods when water sources dry up. This system has been installed at University Farm Baštica.


The main Dubrovnik Neretva County activities within the Adriaclim project were to raise awareness of the local population and stakeholders about climate change effects within the pilot area. Also, a Study of the Adaptation and Planning of Measures for Mitigating Climate Change Impacts in the Municipality Dubrovačko Primorje (Adaptation plan) was prepared. 

Dubrovnik Neretva County equipped public beaches inside the Slano Bay pilot area with urban equipment and decorated green areas with authentic plants.


The main activities of the RBI - CMR within the AdriaClim project were the implementation of observation campaigns as part of the Adriatic Sea's long-term national monitoring, and the improvement of the monitoring infrastructure for capacity building and preparation of coastal ecosystem observation and adaptation activities for challenges posed by the impacts of climate change. With the comprehensive dataset of oceanographic measurements produced for the

project's pilot area in the northern and eastern Adriatic Sea and the installation of the highly equipped and modern oceanographic buoy, the RBI - CMR has helped establish reliable real-time data collection for climate change research and monitoring. The activities carried out by the RBI - CMR enabled the development of an interdisciplinary and up-to-date observation system for the northern and eastern Adriatic Sea. As part of the project adaptation activities, RBI CMR shared the scientific results with the public, local management, and educational institutions, creating a strong awareness of climate change challenges in the Adriatic coastal ecosystem.


The main RERA efforts within the AdriaClim Project were dedicated to raising awareness about climate change.

RERA as a regional coordinator of Split-Dalmatia County decided to improve its existing plan in part related to coastal erosion with the goal to protect beaches and undersea, which are one of Croatia's most important natural resources. PI RERA SD worked continuously with numerous experts on the mentioned guidelines to ensure a quality document that contributes to sea and beach protection and promotes it among policy decision stakeholders.

PI RERA SD organized ecological action of undersea cleaning to raise awareness of the wider public of the importance of climate change adaption and installed smart benches with temperature measurement.


The Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (IOF) research activities are related to two pilot sites: Kaštela Bay and the Neretva River estuary. In the Kaštela Bay IOF scientists are devoted to harmful algal blooms and microbial food webs. The improved monitoring is based on monthly measurements and samplings of numerous oceanographic parameters. In the Neretva River estuary, the IOF team is investigating saline seawater intrusions. Salinization has an adverse impact on agriculture, drinking water sources, and estuary ecosystems, and unfortunately, it is expected that the salinization problem will become even more severe in the future under projected climate change with sea level rise and reduced precipitation and freshwater inflow in summer. The Neretva estuary monitoring is based on continuous measurements of temperature, salinity, and dissolved oxygen content in front of Metković, Opuzen, Komin, and Rogotin. In addition, simultaneous measurements are conducted at an automatic meteo-oceanographic station in Metković harbor. A visual presentation of the collected data is available online in real time on the IOF website.  


Fondazione CMCC role in the AdriaClim project was various and the different activities performed allowed it to achieve the following results:

  • installation of a low-cost and adaptable system to equip one of the Torre Guaceto MPA delimitation buoys (Apulia Pilot Site) with oceanographic sensors;
  • implementation of subregional modeling in the Adriatic Sea region, incorporating atmospheric (WRF) and oceanic (NEMO) models with resolutions of a few kilometers (6km and 2km, respectively), in addition to a hydrological model (WRF-hydro) with a resolution of hundreds of meters, in order to provide a 30-year period of historical simulations and future projections under the RCP8.5 scenario;
  • implementation, test, and run of a wave model based on WW3 forced by 3 different atmospheric datasets to provide wave hindcast and projections in the Adriatic Sea at 2 km resolution;
  • computation of a huge set of indicators (for hydrology, atmosphere, sea-state, and biogeochemistry) at Adriatic and pilot scale;
  • design, implementation, and deployment of the distributed data repository, based on a federation of ERDDAP data server nodes. When needed, data post-processing is applied to the datasets, before uploading them to the data repository;
  • fostering climate literacy in the Adriatic Sea through an innovative, interactive platform ( in which climate change information, tools, and data are narrated in a multidisciplinary way to help people understand what climate literacy is and what is the meaning of successful adaptation to climate change - and how to practically do it.


UNIBO was responsible for the monitoring of nutrient (C, N, P) concentrations in sediments and seawater conditions on the Emilia-Romagna coast, and to study the potential impacts of climate on the Adriatic coast. In the last two years and with four ocean sampling campaigns, UNIBO team detected the effect of climate changes on the nutrient concentration in the sediments and on seawater column conditions (salinity and temperature) mostly related to drought conditions and, so, the decrease of riverine input. Additionally, UNIBO modeling activity was focused on the biogeochemical modeling of the whole Adriatic basin and on the downscaled simulation of the Emilia-Romagna. The simulations were carried out for the historical period (1992–2020) and for a scenario (2022–2050). Results of models, supported by monitoring data, showed a sensible decrease in the discharge of most of the rivers of the Adriatic Sea with a consequently reduced flux of nutrients and an increase of the salinity, especially in the northern Adriatic Sea. These conditions may threaten the Adriatic Sea in the next future with negative effects on the ecosystems and humans.


A major activity within AdriaClim Project was the Regional Climate Adaptation Plan. The main characteristic of this Plan, and its distinct feature, is the fact that it is based on regional information, analyses, and studies. This allows all sectors in the region to be adapted to climate change in the most appropriate way.

The Plan defines the instruments that can be implemented to guarantee climate change adaptation over the next few years at a general and sectoral level.


Veneto Coastal Pilot - Adaptation, mitigation, and intervention plan was developed by ULSS3 Serenissima which will implement specific functions of the "Medical Board" tool used in AULSS3's territorial health governance.

The development of the 'Medical Board' was aimed at supporting the action of initiative medicine that the AULSS3 intends to extend throughout the territory in favor of the population most exposed to the effects of climate change and of the increasingly intense and frequent 'heat waves'; this action intends to identify social vulnerabilities, meaning people who present precarious health conditions combined with situations of loneliness and indigence.

In addition, an experiment was started on mapping pathologies and analyzing how they change in relation to climatic adverse events. This was done by analyzing the flow of emergency room admissions and ordinary hospitalizations.


Molise Region organized online and face-to-face meetings. It implemented a stakeholder mapping so as to identify key stakeholders to be invited to the workshops as part of the participatory process of the project. It created a preliminary report of the Molise coastal pilot site other than dissemination and promotional material, contents and topics to be covered during the workshops. The Region organized a launching event on the 25th of March 2022 and three thematic workshops involving the coastal municipalities and local stakeholders. The results, derived from the workshop analysis plus the legislation and territorial analysis of the Molise pilot area brought to the identification of the 24 most relevant adaptation actions and the elaboration of the Regional guidelines for Climate Change adaptation on the coastal ecosystem as one of the main results of AdriaClim project, that was presented during the Final dissemination event organized in June 2023.

In addition, the Region has installed a weather-marine station at Termoli to monitor sea and weather data along the Molise coast.


Region Emilia-Romagna's main activity within AdriaClim Project was the development of an Adaptation Strategy for the Coast and the coordination of the related pilot activity. The activity was initiated and coordinated by the Regional offices, but an articulated participatory process was designed and implemented during the three years of the project. The process involved many stakeholders from a number of Regional services, municipalities, other territorial bodies, local economic operators, universities and research institutes, environmentalist associations, and youth organizations too, in an intergenerational perspective. The document was then submitted to public consultation to receive more contributions and reviews.

The four pillars of the resulting Strategy are: to free up space along the coast and keep beaches free from structures and infrastructures; ensure the supply of sediments to the coastal system, from internal and external sources; promote the integration of risks and costs into decision-making processes on planning transformations and investments; maintain a Knowledge System updated on coastal and river dynamics.


As Lead Partner, besides the technical and communication activities developed during the project, Arpae organized the administrative aspects. It was the communication channel between the partners and the Joint Secretariat. As for communication activities, Arpae organized an event for policymakers in Brussels and the final conference of the project in Ravenna (Italy).

Furthermore, Arpae acquired a new wave buoy and a GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) to improve the observing network along the Emilia-Romagna coast.

It also coordinated the development of the AdriaClim geoportal that makes available data and model results. This is to facilitate and have better-informed decision-making processes for the development of adaptation plans. As a result, Arpae calculated sets of climate indicators based on historical observations to improve the knowledge of the current climatic conditions along its regional coast. Oceanographic and land field campaigns have also been conducted during the project as a means to acquire new data and check the best location for installing new equipment.



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