The Glossary contains the explanations of the main terms used in the BalticClimate toolkit and links to the toolkit pages where further information on these terms can be found.

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  Y


Adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities (IPCC, 2001b). Read more here.

Adaptation measure 

A measure that limits vulnerability to climate change. Read more here.

Adaptive capacity

A measure of the ability of an individual, a household or an organization to adapt to change. High adaptive capacity makes it possible to seize opportunities caused by the change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defines adaptive capacity for climate variation and change as: "The ability of a system to adjust to climate change (including climate variability and extremes) to moderate potential damages, to take advantage of opportunities, or to cope with the consequences” (IPCC, 2001b). Read more here.

Agricultural sector

One of BalticClimate’s four fields of action. It is a focus because most of the target areas of the project are characterised by the agricultural use. This sector needs to be adapted in respect to changing growing periods and growing conditions caused by climate change. In terms of mitigation, the agricultural sector plays a special role, e.g. in contributing with regional products which avoids needless traffic, wasted energy or as areas for bio and solar energy production. Read more here.

Business people

One of the three target groups to which climate change actions are promoted and on which the BalticClimate toolkit focuses. When applying the toolkit, business people, especially ones involved with SMEs, can benefit directly through the generation of new business ideas to deal with climate change. Furthermore, business people can use the SWOT analysis tool to help them deal with climate change within enterprises. Read more here.

Challenges (stemming from climate change)

New situations arising from climate change impacts, new types and a seriousness of weather conditions (e.g. heavy rain, floods or droughts) in which all BalticClimate sectors (e.g. transport, energy, housing and agriculture) are affected. These heavy weather events cause new challenges to deal with, especially for the target groups of policy makers, spatial planners, business people or regional and local authorities the BalticClimate toolkit focuses on mainly.

Chances (generated by climate change)

Climate change and its impacts are not solely negative. New positive effects can be identified through climate change impacts for different sectors. In terms of changing weather conditions giving rise to longer cropping periods in agriculture, the business sector can benefit from its new business ideas which are initiated by climate change impacts (e.g. renewable energies and other new lines of business). 

Climate impact

A changing climate can have either or both negative and positive consequences, but in each case, only longterm adaptation is efficient. Climate change causes risks or problems arising in different parameters like temperature, precipitation, duration of snow-cover, wind, and sea-level rise. Impacts from these parameters which are possible for the Baltic Sea Region are: rise in temperature (e.g. droughts, increased evaporation), reduced rainfall (e.g. water scarcity), thinner snow cover with shorter duration (e.g. polar ice caps melt, rise in sea level, areas will be flooded), and increases in wind speed (e.g. tornadoes). The impact scenarios within the project have been divided into three of the four BalticClimate sectoral themes: agriculture, energy, and housing including water. Read more here.

Climate model

Climate model is a 3-dimentional representation of atmosphere, land area, ocean, lakes and ice. In global climate models the atmosphere is separated into a grid along the earth`s surface and up into the air. At every point in the grid the development of different meteorological, hydrological and climatological parameters in time are calculated. In regional models a smaller area of the earth is gridded, e.g. Europe. Read more here.

Climate scenario

BalticClimate generated climate scenarios for the Baltic Sea Region and the target areas. They present information on how the climate could possibly develop during a determined period of time in the future. These scenarios were created by the Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research (CSPR), Sweden, (project partner institution) with the help of global climate models. The calculations are based on assumptions about future changes in the atmosphere. They include the relationships between physical processes in the entire atmosphere-land-water system, as well as emission scenarios, which are assumptions on future emissions of greenhouse gases. Results from these global models can be downscaled further with regional models to provide greater detail. Read more here.

Climate SWOT-analysis 

A method to assess a situation for its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats generated by climate change. Read more here.

Detailed planning

Planning in a small-scaled context in which the development and aims are defined in plans, commitments or maps. Detailed planning is coordinated on the local level (e.g. municipality level) and comprises detailed land-use plans. On this planning-level, mitigation and adaptation measures have to be implemented. Read more here.

Energy sector

The energy sector is one of the four sectors that BalticClimate focuses on. Energy is an important field of action in spatial planning policy, because it bears great future meaning. In a time of energy upheaval, new solutions need to be found to bring about a diversified energy infrastructure (e.g. regional energy plans) and energy efficiency in housing (e.g. insulation or solar panels on the rooftop) or businesses (e.g. energy efficiency in product lifecycles). Read more here.


Within the BalticClimate project, a variety of processes, impacts, measures, and good practice solutions have been accomplished. Project related examples from 7 Baltic Sea Region countries in the sectoral themes of transport, energy, housing and agriculture have been developed. The examples give a clue how project partners dealt with the phenomenon of climate change in their area. You can find appropriate examples in boxes along the right hand side of the BalticClimate toolkit pages. Read more here.


The nature and degree to which a system is exposed to significant climatic variations (IPCC, 2001b). Read more here.

General planning 

General planning includes political administrative processes preparing plans and programmes in a wider context or a greater area. Spatial structures are defined (e.g. nature conservation, industrial areas, and infrastructure) and the development of a whole area is taken into account. The general planning level has a directive character and large-scale mitigation and adaptation measures could be implemented on this level (e.g. minimise the need to travel, planning energetically self-sufficient settlements and houses). Read more here.

Good practice

Project related examples in different fields of action (e.g. transport, energy, housing and agriculture) which show the examples of responses to climate change impacts and mitigation measures. Read more here.

Housing sector

One of the four BalticClimate sectors of focus in which different housing possibilities in regard to climate change and examples have been developed. Settlements should be developed to be climate change resistant (e.g. flood-proofed or by securing and expanding green areas and parks). In terms of energy efficiency, buildings can be modified with geothermal heating or solar-energy. Read more here

Implementation cases

Examples accomplished in the BalticClimate target areas in the four different sectors (transport, energy, housingagriculture). They demonstrate how processes can look and how to adapt to or mitigate climate change. The aims are influenced and promoted by sustainable development in these sectors. Implementation cases cover strategies and decisions related to climate change.

Inventory analysis

In the BalticClimate toolkit, inventory analysis consists of data gathering to support the analyses of local challenges and chances generated by climate change and to facilitate an integrated assessment of these local challenges and chances. Read more here.

Local climate

Specific climatic circumstances on the local level. The local climate on a small-scale in the Baltic Sea Region can vary greatly and the local level is responsible for the implementation measures of mitigation or adaptation. Therefore, there is a need for downscaled climate models to identify possible local climate change impacts on the long-term perspective. Read more here.


Adaptation to climate change intends to cover the different possibilities in the long-term perspective and foresee environmental conditions in a specific area caused by climate change impacts. Otherwise money, time and effort for adaptation measures are redundant. An example for mal-adaptation is to build higher dikes as needed or to deforest areas for wind energy plants.


An anthropogenic intervention to reduce the sources or enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases. Read more here.

Pilot implementation

Areas or regions within the 7 BalticClimate project countries where the implementation cases and parts of the examples were implemented with a pilot character. You can find them in the examples part of the BalticClimate toolkit.


"The combination of legal, institutional and other arrangements in place in a country or region for undertaking spatial planning. The elements of a system may not be interdependent but will be interrelated in their impact on spatial development" (COMMIN). Planning includes the theoretical anticipation of future acting, long-term commitments and is a basis for every rational decision-making process. It is necessary to plan on the different planning levels (detailed, general and regional planning level) to avoid conflicts between local, general and regional interests.

Policy makers

Policy makers are one of the three main target groups of the BalticClimate project and they are responsible for defining the scope of action in their area. Local and regional policy makers can therefore influence actions and measures advancing challenges and chances generated by climate change. Read more here.

Regional development

"Regional development is considered as both the increase of wealth in a region and the activities leading to that increase. Regional development has a strong economic orientation, although it may also include social and cultural considerations" (COMMIN). Every area or business should try to create their own future and develop specific strengths from their given circumstances regarding climate change. This could be an investment for already existing structures or in creating new unique innovations.

Regional planning

"Regional planning is a branch of land-use planning dealing with the organisation of infrastructure, settlement growth and non-built areas at the scale of a region. Regional planning generally contributes to regional development, but may also fulfil additional objectives, such as sustainability in the environmental sense. Regional planning is generally understood as the spatial planning activities at regional scale" (COMMIN). Regional planning is planning on the regional level. Plans and commitments are long-term decisions and integrate the region as the specific planning area. The region is probably the best level to plan mitigation and adaptation measures (e.g. optimise the size and dimensions of the infrastructure or plan the infrastructure in a way that it also functions in terms of the expected future climate changes). Read more here.

Related files

Additional reading material and data forms in the BalticClimate toolkit. Data forms are provided from BalticClimate experiences to be filled in by toolkit users to promote their climate change work. The Related files can be found in boxes on the right hand side in the toolkit.


BalticClimate´s results are the identification of challenges and chances generated by climate change in the target areas. All the findings about the processes and good practice are integrated into the BalticClimate toolkit. In the end it provides knowledge and experiences to help to reduce climate change impacts or to adapt to them. Through regionalised climate change information, impact and the vulnerability assessment, or tested integrative planning approaches in the target areas, the results can be considered an independent usable tool.

Sector (within BalticClimate)

A sector is a specific field of action with various subsections. BalticClimate defines four different fields of action for analysis in a greater depth. Transport, energy, housing and agriculture are the sectors in which actions considering climate change information are promoted by BalticClimate.


The sensitivity element addresses how much the stressors actually modify or affect the studied system. A sensitivity analysis of the sectors or areas that are most significantly affected by climate change is usually conducted as a part of the vulnerability assessment. Read more here.

Spatial planners

Spatial planners are one of the three target groups that the BalticClimate focuses on. Planners coordinate land-use planning and connect the administrative, political, business and sustainability aspects. Read more here.


Stakeholders in climate change are all people who are integrated in parts of the processes linked with planning and climate change. It is very important to identify them and integrate them in processes in the right way. Read more here

Strategy (on climate change)

A strategy is defined as an agreed set of ideas and intentions on how to react to climate change generated changes in the region. All sectors, stakeholders and different fields of actions can be important and included in a political and spatial commitment. 


Everything affecting human and natural systems can be seen as a stressor. The focus is on the causes of climatic stress, i.e. the risks your local area is facing. Important issues to illuminate them are: how much (magnitude), how often (frequency), for how long (duration), and where (spatial extent) they take place. Higher temperature could be seen as one stressor which affects human well-being (e.g. heat waves), agriculture (e.g. change in cropping periods) and many other activities. Read more here.

Sustainable development / sustainability

Sustainability is often defined as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Brundtland commission). Sustainable development includes four fundamental aspects: environmental, social, economic and cultural sustainability.

Target areas

Areas or regions within the BalticClimate project with main focus on pilot implementations. The challenges and chances generated by climate change were identified in 7 target areas (in Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and Sweden) and deeper analysed in selected implementation cases in the sectors of transport, energy, housing and agriculture.

Target group

BalticClimate defined three different target groups: policy makers, spatial planners and business people. The project mainly focuses on the target group specific requirements when offering information, good practice, examples and tools.


An assembly of tools. The BalticClimate toolkit is an empowering knowledge transfer instrument that supports the navigation through the process of climate change related planning. The tools include climate scenarios and climate change impact scenarios, guidelines for inventory analysis, vulnerability assessment and planning, a Climate SWOT analysis, exercises, presentation templates and other information dissemination tools. Read more here.

Transport sector

The transport sector is one of the four sectors of BalticClimate focuses. The existing infrastructure has to be modernised regarding the climate change phenomenon (e.g. floods, heavy rainfall, and heat waves). Examples and good practices in regard to climate change have been accomplished. It contains the the entire field of action related to “mobility” (e.g. biogas-fuel cars, bycicle paths, and public transport) and research on existing infrastructure. Read more here.  

Vulnerability assessment

The process of identifying, quantifying, and prioritizing (or ranking) the vulnerabilities in a system. The vulnerability assessment framework in the BalticClimate toolkit is intended for assessments of challenges and chances on the local level in the Baltic Sea Region. Read more here.

Vulnerability to climate change

The degree to which a system is susceptible to, and unable to cope with, adverse effects of climate change, including climate variability and extremes. Vulnerability is a function of the character, magnitude, and rate of climate variation to which a system is exposed, its sensitivity and its adaptive capacity (IPCC, 2001b). Read more here.