Climate: observations, projections and impacts

Understanding the potential impacts of climate change is essential for informing both adaptation strategies and actions to avoid dangerous levels of climate change.

Assessing the impacts of our changing climate is scientifically challenging. Historically, only a limited amount of information about past climate change and its future impacts has been available at national level, while approaches to the science itself have varied between countries.

In April 2011, we were asked by the United Kingdom's Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change to begin a project to compile scientifically robust and impartial information on the physical impacts of climate change for more than 20 countries.

A report on the observations, projections and impacts of climate change for each of the countries has been compiled.

Each report contains:

  • A description of key features of national weather and climate, including an analysis of new data on extremes.
  • An assessment of how man-made climate change has altered the risk of temperature extremes.
  • A prediction of future climate conditions, based on climate model projections used in the Fourth Assessment Report from the IPCC.
  • The potential impacts of climate change, based on results from the UK's Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change programme ( AVOID) and supporting literature.

The authors of the reports were drawn from many UK research institutes. View a full list of the authors and their affiliations.

A series of country level factsheets provide an overview of some of the key risks from climate change included in these reports:

You can also download the slides presented by Met Office scientists at COP17 in Durban - Climate: Observations, projections and impacts - Durban 2011. Climate: Observations, projections and impacts - Durban 2011. (PDF, 4 MB) .  

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Last updated: 18 December 2013