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Adaptation of various economic branches of Belarus to climate change


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Title: Adaptation of various economic branches of Belarus to climate change

Adaptation of various economic branches of
Belarus to climate change
  • Mikhail Kalinin
    Workshop Water and Adaptation
    to Climate Change Joining Efforts to

  • 1-2 July 2008

  • Amsterdam

Forecast climate change will influence the
various economic branches
  • To reduce the negative effects and to
    reinforce the positive effects of the global
    climate changes to the environment, economy and
    human societies it is necessary to define
  • on what stage of the global climate change the
    humanity is,
  • due to these changes what problems and in what
    period will face specific countries. Assessment
    of the scale of these changes to the environment,
    economy and societies,
  • what efforts and by whom should be undertaken at
    present, in 1, 5, 20 years to minimize the
    negative and to reinforce the positive effects of
    climate change.
  • In 2002 Republic of Belarus has developed the
    First National Report Assessment of potential
    impact of climatic changes in the Republic of
    Belarus and vulnerability of social and economic
    systems to climate change according to Chapters
    4 and 12 of the Framework of the UN Convention on
    climate change.
  • The above document was developed on the
    background of the experts assessments.

Agriculture Forecast of climate warming effect
to agriculture Adaptation of the agriculture
  • The area of the agricultural land constitutes
    57.4 of the land resources (11923 thousand ha).
    Agricultural land is 43,4, arable
    land constitutes 26,7 of the total amount. For
    each resident of Belarus there are 0.9 ha of
    agricultural land, including 0.6 ha of arable
  • 14 most dangerous types of weather phenomena were
    defined for Belarus agriculture which determine
    crop vulnerability due to the climate change
    for spring barley it is from 1 to 38 (20 on
    the average), for spring wheat 9 28 (15,9
    on the average), for potatoes 10 32 (16,4
    on the average ) and this tendency is in the
    eastern and south-eastern directions.
  • Weather and climate parameters influence
    vegetation on different stages. The losses due to
    the negative weather effects can reach 50 70
    and in most cases they are determined by dry
  • Most dangerous weather phenomena in worm periods
    are frosts and droughts, in cold period thaws,
    snow mould, severe frosts, ice crust, in early
    spring period moisten of crops, frost return.
  • Level of crop damage due to the climate change is
    minimum for potatoes (9,9 ) and spring barley
    (16,7 ), maximum for spring wheat (21,3 ) and
    flax (17,6 ).
  • Climate output for general crop dispersion is
    for the winter crops 22 38 and for the
    spring crops from 35 to 81 .
  • In Belarus in the nearest time the response to
    the climate change will be made on each specific

Adaptation of the agriculture
  • Increase in duration and heat probability of
    vegetation period leads to the following positive
  • usage of more fruitful sort of late ripeness
    crops and vegetables,
  • shifting in planting of the spring crops to
    earlier period. It will allow to use the amount
    of moisture in soil after snow melting and will
    lead to the earlier harvest time. Risk of May
    frost should be taken into account. In this
    connection crops should frost-steady,
  • spreading the planting areas of the warm climate
    crops (cucumbers, tomatoes) to the north of the
    county ,
  • increase in the planting areas of the spring
  • With the increase of the dry periods it is
  • to reinforce the activities related to the
    development of the new sorts of crops steady to
    the drought and to expand their usage,
  • to expand the regions with irrigated
  • further development of the insurance systems
    against droughts,
  • effective use of extra protein in wheat which
    concentrates due to the drought periods,
  • to expand planting area of corn.

Forestry Forecast of climate warming effect to
  • State forest fund lands constitutes 9
    247,5 thousand ha, which makes 44,55 of the
    Belarus territory, out of this amount forest
    covers 7 851,1 thousand ha (37,82 ).
  • Positive effects will result in
  • growth (not less then 10 ) of the current
    increment of the forest stands due to the
    increase in the active temperatures (up to 10
    ), prolonged period of vegetation from 180 205
    up to 195 230 days a year, as well as
    concentration of the carbon dioxide in the
    atmosphere (up to 50 before 2050),
  • acceleration in the terms of maturation of seeds
    and fruits of woody plants, forest berries due
    to the earlier beginning of the vegetation period
    by 10 15 days.
  • earlier thawing of soil which results in the
    earlier forest planting season by 10-15 days.

Forecast of climate warming effect to forestry
  • Negative effects will result in
  • Increase of the fire risk periods, increase of
    the potential? fire risk forest areas and peat
  • Changes in the structure of the forest stands in
    connection of the prognostic areas of the main
    forest species (fir-tree, grey alder, hornbeam).
    The loss of the phytocenosis steadiness of the
    fir-tree, grey alder and increase of the
    positions of hornbeam, oak, pine-tree.
  • General deterioration in vegetation of the forest
    stands due to the lowering in the ground water
    level in hydromorphic and semi-hydromorphic soils
    and growth of the intensity of transpiration and
    evaporation from the surface of the soils of all

Adaptation in forestry
  • Complex of adaptation measures should include
    the following directions
  • planning-control and financial-economic
    development of the strategies for the branch and
    task adaptation programmes to climate change,
    including economic assessment of adaptation
    losses in the branch and application for
    financial support from the state budget,
  • organizational implementation of the measures,
    set up in the adaptation strategies and
    programmes on all the levels from the Ministry
    of Forestry to the specific enterprises.
    Amendments in the legislation. Protection
    measures. Programmes of rational forest
    planting. Preparation of the seed farms to the
    increase in silviculture.

Water resources
  • Republic of Belarus has a large number of aquatic
    ecosystems including rivers (20,8 thousand),
    lakes (10,8 thousand), water storage reservoirs
    (153) and ponds (1,5 thousand).
  • The total length of Belarusian rivers is 90.6
    thousand km. They are within the catchment areas
    of the Black and Baltic Seas.

Forecast of climate warming effect to water
resources and water ecosystems
  • Negative effects to the water resources
  • The most dangerous possible transformation in
    the hydrographs of the years with low water
    levels, especially when the prognosis volumes of
    the reduced annual run-off would take place in
    the period of summer-autumn mean water,
  • decrease in the practical planned water supply
    of the water objects using surface water.
  • Deterioration of the river water quality due to
    the lower rate of dilution of the sewage water
    and other sources of contamination,
  • Under the lowering of the river and lake water
    levels the concentration of the radionuclides of
    137Cs ? 90Sr will take place in surface water in
    the river basins of Dniepr and Pripyat.
  • Transformation in hydrobiological river regimes
    caused by the changes in level and speed of the
    rivers, increase in air temperature, and as a
    result deterioration in the oxygen regime,
    decrease in the strength of the process of
    natural purification.
  • Reduction in water level and discharges during
    the base runoff period would adversely affect
    water withdrawal, the operation of the domestic
    water transport, recreation.
  • Lowering in the levels of the underground water,
    especially in streamside.

Forecast of climate warming effect to water
resources and water ecosystems continued
  • Increasing thermal load on rivers and water
    reservoirs may accelerate eutrophication
    processes, thereby shifting the equilibrium in
    the species composition (in groups) of
    phytoplankton toward species (groups) with higher
    temperature optimum (for example, cyanobacteria)
    posing a substantial risk for drinking water
  • Risk for floods
  • Under climate change the most hazardous riks is
    connected with flood. The analysis of data on
    1845 and 1931 floods shows that more catastrophic
    floods and high water may form in Belarus in the
    future. This situation is possible with a higher
    anthropogenic burden on the watershed leading to
    substantial change of conditions of runoff
    formation in hydrological terms.
  • Risk for Hydropower Engineering and water
  • All operating HPP in the Belarusian power system
    are categorized as small-sized units for which
    firm capacity is defined by the December runoff
    of design probability not lower than 95 in the
    year with low water. The firm capacity of Polotsk
    HPP being currently designed and categorized as
    medium-sized is accepted to be 80-85 of the
    runoff probability. Currently, approximately an
    average of 4-6 of the annual runoff account for
    each of 9 months of summer and fall-winter

Water resources adaptation should include
  • Reorganization and reorientation of the
    development strategies to the effectiveness of
    the current water resources.
  • Broad introduction of water-preserve technologies
    in branches using much water (industry,
    agriculture, municipal water supply).
  • Transformation of irrigation systems to the
    highly developed complexes ith optimum water
    discharge per output of products.
  • Conversion to nonwaste water supply systems.
  • Change in the tariffs.
  • Possible artificial increase in the underground
    water stock.

Forecast of climate warming effect to social and
economic systems
  • The change in climatic characteristics being
    observed will require updating parameters of the
    construction climatology and Construction Norms
    of Belarus
  • Calculations have demonstrated that if mean
    annual air temperature rises from 0.5 0? to 3 0?,
    the heating period will reduce respectively by 6
    days and 36.
  • The reduction in heat loss and, hence, saving
    fuel with the temperature increase by 0.5 0?
    would be 3.5, and with the temperature increase
    by 3 0? 15.3..
  • The total fuel saving with temperature rise by
    0.5 0? would be 6.6, and by 3 0? 33.8.
  • Climate warming will allow people to spend more
    time in recreational zones (in forests, at the
    rivers, lakes, water reservoirs) and, thus, a
    higher anthropogenic burden on these ecosystems
    may be expected and, hence, lower water quality
    and aggravation of the epidemiological situation.

Pratical activities
  • ecosystems (aquatic, forest, agricultural) should
    not be considered separately, as they are
    integrated in the nature. The state of
    environment mainly defines human health, that is
    why it is of critical importance to make
    integrated assessments of the climate impact on
    ecosystems, economy and communitys health. This
    would allow for not only selecting more
    beneficial adaptation actions at the national
    level, but also disseminating them to the
    intergovernmental (regional) levels.
  • Adaptation strategies and task programmes to
    climate change should be developed for the
    various economic branches in the county.
  • Certain changes should be included into the
    national legislation.