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EWE/Sector. Energy/ Water. Insurance. Agri-culture. Forestry. Tour. Health care. Start Clim. Avalanches. I/ yes. II/ yes. I/ yes. III / yes. III / yes. III / yes. Floods. III / yes. III / yes. II/ yes. I/ yes. II/ yes. III / yes. longer than 12 days. 9 to 12 days.

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Health care



I/ yes

II/ yes

I/ yes

III/ yes

III/ yes

III / yes


III/ yes

III/ yes

II/ yes

I/ yes

II/ yes

III/ yes

longer than 12 days

9 to 12 days


0/ no

III/ yes

III/ no

0/ no

0/ no

I/ no

5 to 12 days

up to 4 days


I/ no

III/ yes

II/ no

III/ yes

II/ yes

II/ no

Number of days

Number of periods per decade

Number of days per decade

Summer draught

II/ no

III/ yes

III/ yes

I/ no

0/ no

II/ no

Number of heat days per year


0/ no

0/ no

II/ no

0/ no

III/ yes

0/ no



Sector Sensitivity for each EWE



Sea level of station (m)


(practically) no damage


Data about EWE impacts on this sector available




No data available, own assumption in combination with literature




Energy- and Water management


Very sensitive

spring barley


soft wheat


to react to currently important subjects and show where further research is necessary.

StartClim-projects have supplied a wealth of new data and understanding that they are also of practical relevance.

Reports (in German, overview-reports in German and English) can be downloaded from

An open, partially commented reference database on the topic climate change and extreme events was compiled in the framework of StartClim. It is available to all future research projects in the field and is enlarged every year.

Until now StartClim has eight funding partners (see logos at the bottom) consisting of ministries and other institutions. Administrative tasks are assumed by the Austrian Federal Environmental Agency.

The scientific project leader is Univ.Prof. Dr. Helga Kromp-Kolb, Institute of Meteorology, Department of Water, Atmosphere and Environment, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU).

All StartClim projects are supported by international scientific advisors.

An open, partially commented reference database on the topic climate change and extreme events was compiled in the framework of StartClim. It is available to all future research projects in the field and is enlarged every year.

The climate research platform AustroClim ( aims at meeting the challenge climate change poses to science. It wants to support decisions that have to be made in political/ economic sectors and by each individual. AustroClim initiated the research programme StartClim after the flood 2002.

StartClim started in 2003. Many Austrian scientist from different Austrian research institutions deal and dealt with the thematic areas climate change & extreme meteorological events and their impacts on economy, agriculture, tourism, health, energy, … especially in Austria.

StartClim is initiating research on topics not yet established in Austria and wants to promote young scientists. The short term projects allow


StartClim.1: Quality control and statistical characteristics of selected climate parameters on the basis of daily values in the face of Extreme Value Analysis 6)

StartClim.2: Analysis of the representativeness of a data collected over a span of fifty years for the description of the variability of climatic extremes 6)

StartClim.3a: Extreme Events: Documentation of hazardous events in Austria such as rock avalanches, floods, debris flows, landslides, and avalanches 18)

StartClim.3b: Documentation of the impact of extreme weather events on agricultural production 1)

StartClim.4: Development of a method to predict the occurrence of extreme events from large-scale meteorological fields 19)

StartClim.5: Testing statistical downscaling techniques for their applicability to Extreme Events in Austria 19)

StartClim.6: Adaptation strategies for economic sectors affected heavily by extreme weather events: Economic evaluation and policy options 2)8)

StartClim.7: Changes in the social metabolism due to the 2002-floodings in Austria: case study of an affected community 14)

StartClim.8: Risk-management and public welfare in the face of extreme weather events: What is the optimal mix of private insurance, public risk pooling and alternative transfer mechanisms 8)

StartClim.9: Summer 2002 floods in Austria: damage account data pool 5)

StartClim.10: Economic aspects of the 2002-Floodings: Data analysis, asset accounts and macroeconomic effects 3)

StartClim.11: Communication at the interface science – education 14)19)

StartClim.12: Developing an innovative approach for the analysis of the August 2002 Flood Event in comparison with similar extreme events in recent years 9)

StartClim.13: High-resolution precipitation analysis 9)

StartClim.14: Performance of meteorological forecast models during the August 2002 floods 6)

StartClim.C: Design of a long term Climate-Climate-Impact Research Program for Austria 19)

An initial analysis of the 4122 events recorded in the BFW Database shows that 36 % of the municipalities covering a total area equivalent to 55 % of Austria were affected by severe torrents, debris flows and floods. Torrents are generally limited to small catchment areas: 40% of the events are registered in catchment areas smaller than 10 km², 20 % in areas smaller than 1 km².

The analyses of the 50-year data sets for Vienna, Hohe Warte, show a significant increase of extreme summer temperature within the last 50 years (left figure) while the extremes of winter minimum temperatures have not become correspondingly less frequent. For a selected global climate change scenario, the frequency of days with temperature extremes above 30°C doubles within the next 25 – 50 years (right figure), while in about 2000 m a.s.l. the warming leads to a decrease in the number of days with temperature continuously below 0°C by about one third.

Areas on the northerly and southerly slopes of the Alps, such as the Salzkammergut, the district Zell am See or the Gailtal, and a few inner alpine areas, such as the Upper Inn Valley, are most frequently affected. In the municipalities Saalbach Hinterglemm, Bad Goisern und Abtenau more than 40 events occurred during the 32 years documented.

A cluster analysis of the daily precipitation at the Austrian climate stations was carried out for the period 1979-1993, using the correlation coefficient as a measure of similarity. This resulted in seven precipitation regions with similar behaviour with respect to daily heavy precipitation:

-Western Austria (Vorarlberg and most of Northern Tyrol),

-Northern "Stau" (northeastern part of Tyrol, parts of Salzburg and Upper Austria),

-Wald- and Mühlviertel (northern parts of Upper and Lower Austria),

-Eastern Region (Vienna, northern Burgenland, parts of Lower Austria),

-Ennstal-Semmering (northern Styria and southern Lower Austria until about the Rax),

-Southeast (southern Burgenland, central and southern Styria, lower Carinthia), and

-Southern "Stau" (East Tyrol, upper Carinthia)

Impacts of extreme weather events on different economic sectors and availability of relevant data, based on publications and interviews with experts and stakeholders

Meteorological para-meters and their influence on yields of grassland, spring barley, maize and soft wheat were examined on the district scale for the year 2003 in percent of the average yields of 1997 to 2002. The results gave evidence for the importance of differentia-tion between geogra-phical regions and crop species.


StartClim2004.A: Analysis of heat and drought periods in Austria: Extension of the daily StartClim data record by the element vapour pressure 6)

StartClim2004.B: Investigation of regional climate change scenarios with respect to heat waves and dry spells 19)

StartClim2004.C: Analysis of the impact of the drought in 2003 on agriculture in Austria – comparison of different methods 1)19)

StartClim2004.G: Project at the interface science-education in cooperation with schools: Is there any correlation between hot weather and the intellectual fitness? 19)

Associated projects:

Heat and drought impacts to Austrian water supply and distribution 21)

Strategies for adaptation to droughts: Evaluation of economic-financial versus technical factors of risk management 22)25)

In the east of Austria water shortage and high temperature periods more frequently limit yield than in more westerly production areas. Thus the lack of significant deviations from the long term average of precipitation and temperature was more important in avoiding yield reductions than for the rest of Austria. (Acreage of respective crop in hatched-coloured districts is below 1% of the total district area.)

The number of hot days in Austria (under the terms of Kyselý) has increased significantly since the middle of the last century. The number of hot periods and the length of hot periods increased as well.

Participating institutions

1) ARC Seibersdorf research

2) Austrian Humans Dimensions Programme (HDP-A)

3) Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO)

4) Bio Forschung Austria

5) Center of Natural Hazards and Risk Management (ZENAR), BOKU

6) Central Institute of Meteorology and Geodynamics

7) Department for Medical Parasitology, MUW

8) Department of Economics, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz

9) Department of Meteorology and Geophysics, University of Vienna

10) Federal Environment Agency

11) Gesellschaft für Wildtier und Lebensraum Greßmann & Deutz OEG

12) GKSS Forschungszentrum Geesthacht

13) HBLFA Raumberg Gumpenstein, Agricultural Research and Education Centre

14) IFF Department of Social Ecology


16) Institut für touristische Raumplanung

17) Institute of Environmantal Hygiene, Centre for Public Health, MUW

18) Institute of Forest and Mountain-Risk Engineering, BOKU

19) Institute of Meteorology, BOKU

20) Institute of Sanitary Engineering and Water Pollution Control, BOKU

21) Institute of Water Management, Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering, BOKU

22) Joanneum Resarch Graz

23) The Austrian Agency für Health and Food Safety, AGES

24) VINCA, Vienna Institute for Nature Conservation & Analysis

25) Wegener Center

StartClim2005 (in progress)

StartClim2005.A1-a: Impacts of temperature on mortality and morbidity in Vienna 17)19)

StartClim2005.A1-b: Nocturnal cooling under a changing climate 17)19)

StartClim2005.C2: Studies on the distribution of tularaemia in Styria under the aspect of climate change 11)

StartClim2005.C3a: Impacts of climate change on agricultural pests and antagonists in organic farming in Eastern Austria 4)19)

StartClim2005.C3b: Risk analysis of the establishment of the Western Flower Thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis) under outdoor conditions in Austria as a result of the climatic change 19)23)

StartClim2005.C5: An allergenic neophyte and its potential spread in Austria – range dynamics of ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) under influence of climate change 10)24)

StartClim2005.F: GIS-sustained simulation of diminishing habitats of snow grouse, black grouse, chamois and capricorn under conditions of global warming and heightening forest limits with consideration of specific animal diseases 13)22)

Future scenarios for Austria show a significant increase of the number of hot days depending on the sea level of the stations. Heat days are doubled in the lower regions and partly much more than doubled in higher regions.

StartClim2006 (starting)

StartClim2006.A: Particulate matter and climate change - Which interconnections can be found in Northeast Austria ? 17)19)

StartClim2006.B: Risk assessment for the autochthonous occurrence of visceral leishmaniosis in Austria 7)19)

StartClim2006.C: Impacts of climate change on the increase of grub damages (Scarabaeidae; Coleoptera) in Austrian grassland 4)19)

StartClim2006.D1: The impact of climatic changes on the Austrian summer tourism 16)19)

StartClim2006.D2: Adaptation of summer tourism in Austria in respect of climate change 6)

StartClim2006.F: Climate change impacts on energy use for space heating and cooling in Austria9)22)25)


Meteorological Extreme event Data information system for the Eastern Alpine region

The information system MEDEA is developed in StartClim to bring together a wide range of data on extreme weather events and weather-included events in Austria from different scientific fields. MEDEA is designed to provide a long term archive for data relevant to extreme events for scientists working in climatology as well as those working on the consequences of climate change. MEDEA has the aim to allow integrated analyses of diverse data related to extreme events in Austria.

Informationen und Kontakt

Univ.Prof. Dr. Helga Kromp-Kolb Tel: +43 (1) 476 54/5601 Mag. Ingeborg Schwarzl Tel: +43 (1) 476 54/5618 Institute of Meteorology, BOKU, Peter-Jordan-Straße 82, 1190 Vienna, Dipl.Ing. Ursula Bodisch Tel: +43 (1) 313 04/3456

Federal Environment Agency