Bioeconomy

Bioeconomy in the context of climate change adaptation is divided into the following systemic areas:

Agriculture
The vegetation period has recently been showing signs of prolongation – spring has been arriving earlier and the harvest can take place at a later date, although it can be difficult due to excessive moisture. Repeated freeze-thaw cycles worsen the overwintering of the cover crops. The risk of snow mold is growing. The cultivation of silage corn and winter rape has been increasing due to the longer growing season, with some new crops (e.g. peas or broad bean) introduced in crop rotation practice. Higher temperatures, increased precipitation and reduced snow cover promote traditional practices of animal husbandry. Higher incidence of drought can complicate the production of livestock due to the shortage of feed. Higher ambient temperature creates preconditions for increasing pollutant emissions from manure handling. Climate change may cause more storms resulting in power cuts, whereas failures of electric automation equipment may potentially be of fatal consequences. For various reasons, 25–30% of bee colonies perish annually. In the light of global warming, more and more plants, farm animals and people are expected to be directly or indirectly threatened by the potential spread of pests and pathogens as well as their arthropod vectors. Increasingly more infections and vector species associated with warmer climates have been found in areas where they previously did not exist.

Forestry
In the Estonian forestry development plan for 2020 the climate change impacts and mitigation is concerned. The proportions of tree species and balance between coniferous and deciduous will change. One advantage is possible increase in forest biomass productivity, but there are many disadvantages. The risk of wind damages will increase. The risk of forests pests and pathogens will increase. The reduced period of frozen ground makes timber harvesting more difficult. More precipitation means more investment into forest roads and ditches. The quality of timber may reduce.

Fishery
The impact of climate change on fishery (commercial and recreational fishing) could be reflected mainly through the impact on fish stocks. Different components of climate change (e.g. changes in salinity, water level and temperature, extreme weather events, ice conditions) may strongly influence the most important and less resilient exploited fish populations abundance and stocks in the Baltic Sea and inland waters. Changes in population abundances may be opposite for cold-adapted (vendace, Peipsi whitefish, burbot, lake smelt) and warm-adapted species (e.g. cyprinids, pikeperch). Fish community structure in shallow lakes and rivers may be very vulnerable to water temperature increases, especially temperature extremes (heat waves) in combination with eutrophication that can led to strong cyanobacterial blooms, night time hypoxia and fish kills. Shortening the ice-cover period will decrease risk of winter fish kills in shallow lakes but will influence most strongly autumn/winter-spawning fish like vendace, whitefish and burbot. Warming has contributed also to the spread of invasive species, new parasites and diseases of fish.

Hunting
Climate change is expected to cause variations in the abundance of small and major game species. Reduction in snow due to climatic warming may have several impacts to forest and wild life ecosystems. Without snow cover the game inventory methods must be changed. One important impact of warming is the influence on moose population and other herbivores. Damages to forests and related agricultural crops may increase. Many wild animal parasites and pathogens will have a great impact not only to wild animals but also to human health.

Tourism
Climate change has the main impact to internal tourists and tourists from neighbouring countries who can plan their vacation according to weather conditions. Using the Tourism Climate Index we see an increase in the frequency of months where the TCI is more suitable in North West Europe than in the Mediterranean. Specifically in relation to increasing TCI-s, Estonia could see a change in tourism flows across several tourism seasons with an increase in total tourism numbers. Increasing TCI-s in “shoulder” months might change seasonality of tourism demand and offer tourists the possibilities of taking vacations over a wider number of months. Tourism visits may increase in the spring and autumn seasons, especially to rural (inland) areas, with consequent impacts to the natural environment: on animal breeding behaviour during vulnerable periods; trampling of sites with low carrying capacity or higher maintenance costs of site protective infrastructure, e.g. walkways; higher visitor numbers at sensitive sites such as animal viewing platforms and hides. 5–12% of CO2 emission is caused by tourism sector, of which 75% by tourism transport and 20% by accommodation services. The greenhouse gas emission from tourism sector will increase by 130% from 2005 to 2035 according to prognosis.

Peat extraction
In the course of analyses peat mining was divided into following subthemes: greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from peat extraction sites; relevant policy documents; impact on peat extraction capacity; technologies for peat mining; and after-use of peat extraction areas.
Based on peat mining capacities (area and volume), resource analyses and policy documents, there are possibilities to increase extraction activities. On the other hand, there could be possible constraints related to high GHG emissions and dependence upon weather conditions. In order to minimize these influences, possibilities for wet mining are analyzed although it is not used much in practice.
Analysing weather conditions (period June-August, 1992–2013) relevance to peat mining capacity, there has been significant influence on extreme precipitation rates, e.g. in 1998 peat extraction volumes decreased drastically. On state level medium correlation between precipitation, temperature and mining capacity was determined, but on a county level this could be significantly different. Based on Finnish research, increasing precipitation and soil moisture could be accompanied with significant accretion of GHG emission from mining areas.