Slovenia is located in Central Europe, touching the eastern Alps. Slovenia borders Austria in the north, Croatia in the east and south, Italy in the west, and the Adriatic Sea in the southwest. Due to its orographic and climatic features, Slovenia is highly vulnerable to climate change. Currently, Slovenia has not carried out measures targeted at adaptation to climate change.
Slovenia’s climate is Mediterranean on the coast. In the plateaus and valleys to the east Slovenia’s climate is Continental with mild to hot summers and cold winters. In the high mountain regions Slovenia has a severe Alpine climate. Average yearly rainfall is varied. The coastal region receives approximately 1,000 millimeters; the Alpine regions receive more than 3,000 millimeters; the central part of Slovenia receives between 1,000 and 1,500 millimeters; and the northeastern region receives merely 800 millimeters of rainfall annually.
Slovenia’s terrain consists of a short coastal strip on the Adriatic Sea, an alpine mountain region adjacent to Italy and Austria, and a combination of mountains and valleys with a number of rivers to the east (CIA 2009). Approximately 55 percent of Slovenia’s national territory is covered with forests, making it one of the most heavily forested countries in Europe. Slovenia boasts a high level of biotic diversity owing to climatic, orographic and pedological variability. Climate change poses a threat to Slovenia’s biotic diversity as the numerous, smaller, geographically isolated ecosystems, sheltering endemic species, will be unable to shift in order to adapt to altered climate zones.
Agricultural areas cover 38 percent of the country. The agriculture sector in Slovenia is expected to suffer due to the higher frequency and intensity of dry periods associated with climate change. This may be exacerbated by the probability of extreme weather events. Winter sports tourism is also important to Slovenia’s economy. Changes in climate could adversely affect this sector.
Sources: CIA – The World Factbook. 2009. Slovenia. [online]. Available at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/si.html 2009. [12 November 2009].
Slovenia’s First National Communication to the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (2002).