Country

Croatia

Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting Croatia.

Vulnerability

Croatia is at risk of meteorological hazards and natural disasters, which primarily affect the agricultural, water, and energy sectors through seasonal flooding, decreased precipitation, and periods of drought. Temperatures are already observed to be increasing. Precipitation, despite high variability, appears to be decreasing and more extreme weather events are occurring, especially droughts and heat waves. Croatia is also at risk of earthquakes, forest fires, flooding, water scarcity and extreme heat. This is expected to result in impacts primarily to agriculture and water sectors as well as to wider population health. Vulnerable groups, such as those with fewer economic opportunities and the elderly are particularly at risk of natural hazards and increasing impacts of climate change.

This section provides a summary of key natural hazards and their associated socioeconomic impacts in a given country. And it allows quick evaluation of most vulnerable areas through the spatial comparison of natural hazard data with development data, thereby identifying exposed livelihoods and natural systems.

Natural Hazard Statistics

The charts provide overview of the most frequent natural disaster in a given country and understand the impacts of those disasters on human populations.

Natural Hazard / Development Nexus

Understanding natural hazard occurrence as well as historical climate conditions, in relation to development contexts, is critical to understanding a country’s historical vulnerability. This tool allows the visualization of different natural hazards or historical climate conditions with socio-economic and development datasets. Select the Development Context and either a Natural Hazard or Climate Condition and overlay horizontally by sliding the toggle left or right to gain a broader sense of historically vulnerable areas.

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Data presented under Historical Climate Conditions are reanalysis products derived from ERA5-Land data. ERA5-Land is a global land-surface dataset at 9 km resolution, consistent with atmospheric data from the ERA5 reanalysis from 1950 onward. Climate reanalyses combine past observations with models to generate consistent time series of multiple climate variables. They provide a comprehensive description of the observed climate as it has evolved during recent decades, on 3D grids at sub-daily intervals. 

This data has been collected, aggregated and processed by the Climate Resilience Cluster of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Earth Observation for Sustainable Development (EO4SD) initiative.

 
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Key Vulnerabilities

  • Croatia is experiencing increased aridity coupled with rising temperatures and changes in precipitation patterns such as a reduction in rainfall. This is putting strain on forests, agricultural zones and crop yields, hydropower generation, tourism areas (mountains and coastal zones) and water resource management.
  • Flooding, including coastal and riverine, is a particular hazard for Croatia. Damaging and life-threatening river floods are expected to occur at least once in the next 10 years. Flooding along river areas is also expected in the immediate and long-term hazard scenarios for both rural and urban areas. Croatia is also at risk from rising sea levels and resulting coastal area flooding, which is likely to impact coastal cities and coastal flood plains.
  • Flooding, land use change, increased aridity and deforestation are impacting land stability, particularly in Croatia’s western, southern, central and north-eastern zones.  This is resulting in a high degree of vulnerability to and risk from, landslides. 
  • Water resources will be affected by changing temperatures, precipitation regimes, and humidity, which will have long-term implications on the amount and quality of water available.
  • Droughts may become more frequent in some areas due to river runoff decrease as well as from increased demand and consumption from economic development and population growth. 
  • Croatia’s major tourism zones, coastal and mountain zones are at risk for rising temperatures which will have an effect on local economies in those areas.
  • To increase its resilience to natural hazards and climate change impacts, Croatia has plans, procedures and resources to deal with major disasters, however, it is still lacking in good coordination, disaster risk management, especially human capacity.
  • The Croatian Red Cross (CRC) has contingency plans and procedures which are in permanent upgrading process.
  • Croatian Waters has developed a well-organized flood defense structure at the national-level and activities are implemented in accordance with EU flood risk management directives. Flood risk management occurs on both national and local levels, but also on the trans boundary levels and is supported by flood forecast modelling and early warning responses.