Prof. Zbigniew W. Kundzewicz is a Professor of Earth Sciences (since 1993), a Corresponding Member of Polish Academy of Sciences (since 2010) and a Member of Academia Europaea (since 2017). He works part time in the Meteorology Lab, Faculty of Environmental Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, Poznan University of Life Sciences, Poznan, Poland.

In last decades, he has worked full-time in the Agricultural and Forest Environment, Polish Academy of Sciences in Poznan, Poland (1990-2021), and part-time in the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Potsdam, Germany (2001-2016). He has been a Honorary Professor in the Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology (NUIST), China, since 2018.

His principal research interests embrace climate change impact on water resources; hydrometeorological extremes, and risk analysis.

In 1994-2022, he has considerably contributed to the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), including being a four-fold Co-ordinating Lead Author, so that he takes a pride of being responsible for a meaningful part in the collective achievement of IPCC that was awarded Nobel Peace Prize.

Now, he is a Member of the Assembly of the Horizon Europe (European Commission). He has led and participated in many national and international research projects.

He received two top international scientific awards in the field of hydrology and water resources. In 2017, he received an International Hydrology Prize of IAHS-UNESCO-WMO and a Dooge Medal for “outstanding contributions to an improved understanding of flood events, climate impact on water resources and … leadership in the international community of hydrologists”. In 2020, he received a Prince Sultan International Water Prize (category – Surface Water) “for advancing our understanding of the relationship between flood risk, river flow, and climate change”. He is the fourth individual ever awarded both prestigious water prizes specified above.

His H-index after Web of Science and Scopus is equal to 52 and 56, respectively.

Climate change and its impacts – A perspective from Poland

Zbigniew W. Kundzewicz

Faculty of Environmental Engineering and Mechanical Engineering,

Poznań University of Life Sciences

Poznań, Poland


This presentation will review evidence for climate change and its impacts in Poland. Observations and projections of changes in Poland are examined and juxtaposed on changes in global and continental scales. The warming has been unabated and ubiquitous, while precipitation changes are more complex. As per Clausius-Clapeyron law, precipitation intensity has been on the rise in the warming climate. The ratio of seasonal precipitation totals in the cold half-year to warm half-year has been increasing in Poland, but the probability of occurrence of liquid precipitation in winter is on the rise. On average, snow and ice phenomena are less frequent in the warming climate, but cold spells and longer-term frost still do occur in Poland. There are several ‘special care’ areas in Poland in terms of climate change adaptation: the mountains in the south; the coastal zone of the Baltic Sea in the north; the river valleys, and the urban areas prone to heat waves and flash flooding. Poland intends to follow the international climate change mitigation policy and largely de-carbonize its energy system, increasingly setting on renewable energies, but global climate policy is unlikely to curb the warming in the near to medium future.