Climate Change

Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing the planet.


climate change in the municipality of loulé

In the context of EMAAC development, it is important to better understand the main current and future climate vulnerabilities in the municipality of Loulé.


The climate projections used in the development of the MCCAS in Loulé were prepared by the technical team of the ClimAdaPT.Local consortium, based on two regionalized models for Europe (by the CORDEX project) and two GHG emission scenarios:


A trajectory of increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration to 520 ppm in 2070, increasing more slowly until the end of the century.


A growth trajectory similar to RCP4.5 until mid-century, followed by a rapid and sharp increase, reaching a CO2 concentration of 950ppm by the end of the century.

The main climate changes projected until the end of the century for the municipality of Loulé are:


Annual average

Decrease in annual average rainfall, which is expected to be higher in the late twenty-first century and could vary between 6% and 44% in that period.

Seasonal rainfall

A decrease in the winter months (between 1% and 30%) is also expected, as well as with the rest of the year, 13% and 61% in Spring and between 7% and 53% in the Autumn.

More frequent and severe droughts

A decrease in the number of days with precipitation, between 10 and 28 days per year is expected. As is an increase in the frequency and intensity of droughts in southern Europe [IPCC, 2013].


Average annual and seasonal temperature

An annual average temperature increase of 1°C to 4°C. Strong increase in maximum temperatures in Summer (between 1°C and 4°C), Spring (between 1°C and 5°C) and Autumn (between 2°C and 5°C).

Very hot days

Increase in the number of days with very high temperatures (≥ 35°C), and of tropical nights with minimum temperatures ≥ 20°C.


More frequent and severe heatwaves.



A relative sea level rise of between 0.17m and 0.38m in 2050, and between 0.26m and 0.82m by the end of the twenty-first century (global projections) [IPCC, 2013]. Other authors mention a rise of up to 1.10m in 2100 (global projections) [Jevrejeva et al., 2012].

Extreme weather events

Relative sea level rise with more severe impacts, when combined with an over flow of sea level associated with storms (storm surge) (global projections) [IPCC, 2013].


Extreme events

Increase in extreme events, in particular of intense or very intense precipitation [Soares et al., 2015]. More severe winter storms, accompanied by rainfall and strong winds (global projections) [IPCC, 2013].

Based on the current climate vulnerabilities of the municipality, the impacts that have already occurred and the climate projections until the end of the century for the municipality of Loulé, an evolutionary risk analysis was carried out. Thus, the climatic events for which risks of greater magnitude are projected in the future are:

  • High temperatures and heat waves
  • Droughts
  • Relative sea level rise
  • Excessive rainfall (floods)
  • Increase in average temperature of the oceans

Thus, the main climate impacts projected for the municipality may be associated with:

  • Increased risk of fire, fire and its consequences;
  • Changes in biodiversity, environmental and natural heritage of the municipality;
  • Increased rapid flooding and flooding in urban areas;
  • Disruption or reduction of water supply and/or reduction in water quality
  • Changes in surface runoff and aquifer recharge and, consequently, in water availability;
  • Damage to human health;
  • Intensification of the erosive process in coastal areas;
  • Lifestyle changes;
  • Damage to buildings, infrastructures, supply chain and changes in the use of equipment;
  • Aggravation of varied damages in sectors such as tourism, agriculture, fisheries and forestry.


climate change: the threat and the challenge

Climate change is one of the greatest threats facing the planet, resulting from the intensification of anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.


Resulting from COP 21 - Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and signed on December 12, 2015, the Paris Agreement entered into force on November 4, 2016, constituting the first pact against climate change and a milestone for climate safeguard issues.

The Paris Agreement aims to keep the increase in the world's average temperature "well below 2°C by 2100", but "joins efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C" relative to pre-industrial levels .

To achieve the goals set and contain global warming below 1.5°C compared to the pre-industrial era, there is still a long and demanding way to go: decarbonising the economy at a global level, investing in the energy transition of cities to energy sources. cleaner and more efficient energies and promoting more sustainable mobility, namely in the context of public transport, are just some of the sectors in which a paradigm shift is needed.

The path also goes through the definition and implementation of strategies and measures to adapt to climate change at the local level, especially in cities, and the analysis of joint solutions.

To read the full Paris Agreement, click here.