ICPR – International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine

204. Present state of knowledge on possible consequences of changes of the discharge pattern and water temperature on the Rhine ecosystem and possible perspectives for action

Based on available literature, the ICPR working group Ecology has structured and summarized the effects of climate change on the aquatic and amphibian habitats in the Rhine catchment.

The most important impacts of climate change on the discharge and temperature regime of the Rhine and its tributaries, such as presented in the bibliographic study  and in the "Study of Scenarios"  of the ICPR expert group KLIMA were starting points for this work. As far as the temperature development is concerned, only the results of the bibliographic study are available; more recent data are expected for 2013.
These two reports clearly indicate the signals of climate change to be expected. However, indications concern bandwidths to be expected for the near and far future, which, when it comes to ecological statements, can only be exploited to a limited extent. Statements on extreme discharges, in particular on extreme flood discharges could not be predicted or only be predicted with considerable uncertainties.