Vulnerability information

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The vulnerability information provided here based on a basic traffic light-like ranking with three categories: 'high vulnerability' (+++), 'moderate vulnerability' (++) and 'low vulnerability' (+) is qualitative, not normalized and unweighted. For that reason no final assessment of vulnerability is done. Additionally, vulnerability characterizations colored in grey are not in the scope of this study but relevant for the specific problem. For details on the vulnerability assessment concept, methodology and classification systems please refer to the complete report attached at the bottom of the page, as well as to the deliverable D11.2 of EUPORIAS ("White paper on sector specific vulnerabilities"), which can be found at here.

Vulnerability characteristics

Referring to the analysis of the critical situation, decision-making processes and critical climate conditions, two different vulnerabilities can be identified (see the attachment below).

Vulnerability to general soil erosion (S2D scale). The critical situation is characterized by estimated erosion rates of 1.4 t ha-1 yr-1 which cause the loss of soil and thus the ability to grow crops in the long-term. The interlinked decision-making process implies the plantation of cover crops to avoid or minimize soil erosion which requires lead-times of up to 6 months. Critical climate conditions are primarily high magnitude rainfall events hitting bare fields especially during spring and autumn.

  • Scale of critical climate conditions: unknown

  • Temporal scope for climate information: up to months

Vulnerability to specific erosive events (S2D scale). The critical situation is characterized by the flushing of newly planted crops. The interlinked decision-making process implies the shift of the sowing date to avoid such events which requires lead-times of ca. 2 months. Critical climate conditions are high magnitude rainfall events (30mm in 2 days or 10mm h-1) during autumn.

  • Scale of critical climate conditions: hours-days

  • Temporal scope for climate information: 3-4 months

Vulnerability assessment for S2D-vulnerability

Climate-impact type (+++): the climate-impact type for the ‘vulnerability to specific erosion events’ is adecision conditioned (pseudo) climate impact’: individual high rainfall events are already critical and require decisions. To initiate appropriate coping measures information on such weather events are required several weeks before they impend to happen. This is technical very challenging (or even impossible) and accompanied with great uncertainties.

Role of climate (++): the role of climate is that of a hazard since the impact is destructive. Soil erosion indeed affects and destroys a resource (soil) in the long-term. The consequences are generally negative and coping measures may help to mitigate but hardly to prevent the impact.

Priority of scale (+++): decision-making processes are necessarily seasonal due to the growing conditions of plants. Even the decadal problem of soil erosion requires seasonal decision-making.

Success criteria (++): the success criteria are of economic nature on the short-term but may become of societal relevance in the long-term (destruction of resource, i.e. critical infrastructure).


LMTool provides seasonal winter weather forecasts (1-3 months ahead) in support of decision making on cover crop planting, choice and management.