The climate is changing; the many temperature and rainfall measurements support this argument. There is a general consensus that human activities are responsible for this and it is fairly certain that mankind will continue to have an impact on the climate in the years ahead. TNO is committed to preventing climate change and to reducing the impact of climate changes that have already occurred.
TNO is at the crux of modelling the interaction between climate effects and air pollution (local, national and international). The models are validated using ground and satellite observations. In this context TNO investigates the practicability of satellites for observing greenhouse gases and air pollution, for which new measuring instruments are being developed.
To reduce the emission of greenhouse gases such that global warming is restricted as much as possible, different measures from all kinds of sectors (industry, transport, utilities, agriculture, etc.) are needed. TNO's practical knowledge spans a variety of techniques and concepts to combat greenhouse gas emissions, especially in terms of vehicle technology such as hybrid powertrains, alternative fuels and mobility measures, and this allows us to respond to corporate and governmental policy issues related to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. We also assess which measures are the most effective for both the greenhouse effect and air pollution, using models and scenarios customised to the scale of the respective organisation.
Even though the emission of greenhouse gases may be reduced, a certain degree of climate change is inevitable. Depending on the speed at which mitigation measures can be put into effect, we will be confronted with changes in average temperatures, precipitation and wind, extreme weather conditions and a rise in sea level. These are changes that will have an impact on security and safety, the economy, ecology, societal and social structures, health and the quality of our habitat in the broader sense, in urban areas too. Moreover, the risks of damage and inconvenience for the urban environment will be relatively high given the population density and considerable economic value (industry, living). This all demands the kind of targeted and multidisciplinary approach that TNO's employs to use its knowledge and experience to optimise the urban (infra)structure so that disruptions can be countered and quality of life preserved.