Green Deal Data Space

The problem

Climate Change is increasingly pushing national and local authorities to put in place efficient and pragmatic actions to both reduce the greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the risks related to the changes in climate in the short and medium term (also referred to as Climate Change Adaptation). The latter set of actions is of paramount importance, since even in the most optimistic emission scenarios billions of people in vulnerable communities will have to deal with adverse consequences from climate change for several decades to come.

The solution

To devise the most adequate adaptation options, several capabilities have to be implemented, namely: the means to carry out a thorough assessment of climate risk based on the most up-to-date data available, leading to a comprehensive understanding of key risks at different time frames (present and future); the means to efficiently
monitor environmental conditions related to hazardous phenomena, exposure, vulnerability dimensions of the risk, or proxies for compound risk.

The innovations

Institutional: Assessing climate risk is essential for understanding its impacts, but there are uncertainties. In such conditions, the most reasonable course of action might entail a comprehensive assessment of risk based on empirical evidence and data available to drive dynamically the adaptation measures based on the combination of different so-called “adaptation pathways”. A further issue arises when such knowledge has to be complemented by an equally complex set of environmental and Earth Observation (EO) data. In effect the amount of data being increasingly available is significant, and its complexity in terms of spatial, temporal and thematic resolution outline the extent of the challenge of making sense of it, especially for multi-dimensional and multi-temporal “raster” data. 

In order to develop the key capabilities for supporting Climate Change Adaptation actions implied by the implementation of the Green Deal, it is necessary to develop a flexible and well-structured knowledge base, able to accommodate information provided by heterogeneous sources into an actionable structure. Such knowledge base will integrate already consolidated conceptual modelling tools tailored for climate risk assessment called “Impact Chains” (ICs), with catalogues of the above mentioned quantitative and spatially-explicit datasets. Communicating with the aid of commonly understood vocabularies and ontologies under the hood, the end-user will be able to interact with an IC and eventually with the vast amount of data linked to it, triggering on-demand filtering and processing of information through proper interplay with the CyclOps platform, the Green Deal data space, the Ontop virtual knowledge graph system, and the openEO data processing API. To demonstrate the potential of such solution, a “hot and dry” use case focused on three different (and correlated) hazards – droughts, heat waves, and wildfires –will be proposed, in the inter-regional Adige river basin in the North of Italy. 

The proposed solution integrates for the first time these multiple heterogenous components, linking together qualitative and quantitative data and systems to leverage the potential information hidden below vast amounts of data, and leading to a comprehensive understanding of key risks at different time frames (present and future). Being able to systematically monitor environmental conditions related to hazardous phenomena, as well as proxies for cascaded and compound impacts and risks, is indeed fundamental for effective early alerting systems and for identifying dynamic adaptation pathways, bringing a tangible added value to society as a whole. 

The partners