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Protect your house against climate related damage

Nordic researchers have developed a user-friendly web-based tool that can help home owners secure their houses and gardens against the challenges brought on by the changing climate. By entering data about your house, you can retrieve knowledge and advice on how to protect your house against climate related damage in the future.


Rising temperatures, cloudbursts, droughts and floods are expected to become more prevalent in the future as a consequence of global climate change. And it does not bode well for our homes. Nordic Climate is a joint research project established by the the Nordic research centre for climate change, NORD-STAR, and in 2014 the project has led to the launch of a new and unique web-based tool aimed at house owners. The new tool VisAdapt has been developed to help home owners in the Nordic countries adapt their houses and secure them against the more extreme weather conditions that we will likely see in the future as a consequence of climate change.

With this web-based tool, you can type in your home address and view your house. Then you type in information about your house – e.g. what material the roof is made of – and then you launch VisAdapt. You will then be presented with various risk scenarios that your local area might experience over the next 40 to 60 years. This means that the tool allows home owners to take certain precautions and secure their houses against, for instance, floods – if your house is in that risk zone.

“The really smart thing about VisAdapt is that it brings climate adaptation down to a local level, where it becomes relevant to the individual. Research shows that people generally have a hard time seeing how climate change affects them, and they tend to believe that it’s something that takes place in different parts of the world or long into the future. In a way, this new tool makes all the talk about climate change more tangible to people,” says Anne Gammelgaard Ballantyne, who is PhD student and assistant professor at Aarhus University’s department in Herning, AU Herning. She has contributed to developing the new tool.

“The unique thing about this tool is that the system allows you to have all the necessary information gathered in one place. You can use the tool in your own living room when it suits you, and it’s easy to obtain information about the potential risks of climate change in your local area,” she concludes.

Facts

The project on climate change adaptation and insurance in the Nordic countries is a collaboration between researchers from Linkoping University, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Aarhus University and the Nordic insurance companies If, Gjensidige, Trygg-Hansa/Codan and Tryg Insurance, and the Top-level Research Initiative the Nordic Centre of  Excellence (NCoE) NORD-STAR.

The scenarios have been developed at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, and the guidelines for climate adjustment have been collected from public institutions, municipalities and insurance companies. The maps of the risk zones have been made public by the Nordic authorities.

The tool is available at www.visadapt.info

Contact

For further information, please contact:

Anne Gammelgaard Ballantyne, Aarhus University, School of Business and Social Sciences: (anne@auhe.au.dk / +45 6167 5313)