If you're new to climate projections or have not used them for some time, then read on.
Use climate projections
Together with observations, climate projections can be used as one source of information when planning for the future or as a communication tool. When planning for the future, you may wish to carry out a climate change risk assessment. This needs to takes into account the hazard, exposure, vulnerability and how they interact with each other.
Risk of climate-related impacts results from the interaction of climate-related hazards (including hazardous events and trends) with the vulnerability and exposure of human and natural systems (from Figure 19-1 of IPCC AR5)
Climate model projections and observations only inform one aspect of this interaction, i.e. the climate component of the hazard. Your approach to climate change risk assessment and/or how it informs decision-making informs whether, how and which climate model projections that you use. For further information, see UKCP18 Guidance: How to use the Land Projections [1.8MB].
Climate change risk assessments often require further information such as flood risk from rivers, coastal erosion or heat-related human health impacts. You can find information on these climate impacts from the LWEC and MCCIP climate impacts report cards.
Understand current hazards
Start by looking back in time and assessing how past climatic events have affected your organisation's operations (whether directly or through indirect impacts, such as disruption to supply chains). To support this, data and information is available in the State of the UK Climate report and UKCP18 observed datasets. If you are seeking guidance on assessing your current exposure to climate hazards, you can find guidance online, for example UKCIP’s Local Climate Impacts Profile.
Understand future hazards
Conduct a high-level assessment of climate risk. Start with a high-level strategic assessment of your climate risk. To support this, UKCP18 provides headline findings [404KB] about future climate over the UK. For more a more regional focus, key results are also available at country, administrative and river basin regions. If you're interested in climate projections over land, consult this schematic [51KB] to understand which sets of information to use. You can also find summary information on climate impacts in the LWEC and MCCIP set of climate change impacts report cards as well as the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment. You can find guidance on how to approach high-level risk assessment online; examples include IEMA’ s Climate Change Adaptation Business Case Guidance [354KB] or ISO’s forthcoming new standard on adaptation to climate change.
Obtain detailed information on future climate. The UKCP18 Science Overview provides an introduction to the detailed information on future climate for the UK. This is accompanied by a set of guidance to help use the UKCP18 products. This is underpinned by three scientific reports for the land projections, marine projections and derived projections. All of these are available here. This information can provide the detailed information on the climate hazard that could then be used to inform your impacts and risk analysis for your assets.
Conduct detailed, quantitative climate impacts or risk assessment. In many circumstances, to obtain quantitative information on climate impacts for your assessment requires an applied product (see here for further details of what they are). Careful scoping of a risk assessment is crucial to it being an effective decision-making tool: you should assess your information needs and check whether the right level of information already exists. If you are already set up to use quantitative climate information, use the UKCP18 User Interface to download data and tailor maps and graphs, making sure that you read the caveats and limitations and accompanying guidance. You can see how other organisations and businesses have thought about using UKCP18 data in the UKCP18 demonstration projects.
Information on adaptation to climate change
If you are seeking further information on adaptation to climate change, the following links provide information, guidance and support:
- GOV.UK on climate change adaptation
- Adaptation Scotland
- Climate Northern Ireland
- Environment Agency
- Natural Resources Wales
- Committee on Climate Change
You can also find further support at the following:
- IEMA’ s Climate Change Adaptation Business Case Guidance
- Climate Adapt - a knowledge sharing platform for adaptation that includes tools and guidance
- Business Resilience Healthcheck - an entry level tool to help businesses build resilience
- CLASP's Searchable database of resources for Local Authorities
- Decision making tools for adaptation from the UK Climate Impacts Programme
Page developed in collaboration with Adaptation Scotland and the Environment Agency.