The aim of the present contribution, opening a session on climate change and hydrology at the 2002 Nordic Hydrological Conference in Røros, Norway, is to discuss essential water-related findings of the Third Assessment Report (TAR) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), with particular reference to region-specific issues of the Nordic region. Discussion of impacts of climate variability and change embraces both already observed effects and projections for the future. After review of changes in hydrological processes, climate-related impacts on extreme hydrological events – floods and droughts – are outlined. Finally, adaptation and vulnerability are dealt with, including presentation of key water-related regional concerns in various parts of the World.

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