From August 2023 to January 2024, a High School Student from Institut Les Marines collaborated with the Barcelona Living Lab on Extreme Events. He was really interested in the impacts of climate change in his town, Castelldefels, located in the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona. In the Living Lab, we have supported him to develop his high school graduating research project: “Anàlisi de l’impacte del Canvi Climàtic a Castelldefels mitjançant la Ciència Ciutadana” (Analysis of the impact of Climate Change in Castelldefels through Citizen Science). The work is focused on extreme events related to extreme temperatures, heavy rainfalls, and floods in Castelldefels, a town located on the south-west coast of the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona.
Regarding extreme temperatures, the student identified the risk zones by analysing the microscale climate patterns. First, he used a MeteoTracker sensor to monitor temperature in two types of routes during six different days, as we published in the September 28 of 2023 new. In this case, the student analysed the data obtained with his routes. The analysis process involved different scientific techniques such as data contextualization and comparison with meteorological stations, georeferenced data mapping, and identification of thermal contrast across different areas. Concepts such as Urban Heat Effect and Heat Index were explored, leading to understanding of the microscale influence of humidity, sea breezes, winds, and urbanization on temperature.
Regarding heavy rainfalls and floods, he was able not only to understand the natural risks in the area, but also to propose adaptation strategies. The methodology involved collecting historical data from past events, proposing adaptation measures, and engaging the community through social media and the Floodup mobile App. Additionally, high risk neighbourhoods and patterns of periods with a higher probability of flooding were identified.
The research project highlights the importance of citizen science to empower people through their local knowledge, increase the climate resilience by scientific and environmental learning, and to improve the community awareness about climate change. It is important for the identification and cocreation of adaptation measures.