DESYCO is a GIS-based Decision Support System (DSS) aimed at the integrated assessment of multiple climate change impacts on vulnerable coastal systems (e.g. beaches, river deltas, estuaries and lagoons, wetlands, agricultural and urban areas). It implements a Regional Risk Assessment (RRA) methodology that allows to rank potential targets and areas at risk from climate change and to identify homogeneous geographic sites for the definition of adaptation and management strategies.

DESYCO is an open source software that manages different input data (e.g. raster or shapefiles) regarding both climate change hazard scenarios (e.g. global and regional climate projections; high resolution hydrodynamic, hydrological and biogeochemical simulations) and site-specific physical, ecological and socioeconomic features of the analyzed region (e.g. coastal topography, geomorphology, presence and distribution of vegetation cover, location of artificial protection).

The core of the system is represented by the RRA model that employ Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) techniques in order to identify areas exposed to climate related hazards, estimate susceptible exposure units and relative risks in the considered region, and provide a final evaluation of the potential damages associated to the analyzed receptors. Graphical user interfaces guide the user in the step by step application of DESYCO and in the analysis of the outputs of the tool (i.e. GIS-based exposure, susceptibility, risk and damage maps).

DESYCO was originally developed for the analysis of climate change impacts at the regional scale (i.e. sub-national), however it is in principle applicable at different spatial domains (e.g. at the local or continental and sub-continental scale). Within the CMCC-FISR and CANTICO projects DESYCO was tested in the coastal area of the North Adriatic Sea (Italy) and of the Gulf of Gabès (Tunisia). Moreover, in order to evaluate climate change impacts on groundwater and related ecosystems, DESYCO was recently applied within the SALT and TRUST projects to the Upper Plain of Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia regions (Italy) and to the Esino river basin in the Marche region (Italy).

Future developments of the tool within GEMINA and CLIM-RUN project will include the analysis of multiple hazards for the integrated assessment and management of different types of risks and impacts related to climate change and natural hazards in a climate service perspective in order to provide and distribute climate data and information according to the needs of end-user.