An external view of the Met Office building at night.

Andrew Hartley

Areas of expertise

  • Geographic information systems
  • Specific tools and methods for the analysis of risk
  • Biodiversity assessment especially in Africa

Publications by Andrew Hartley

Current activities

Andy's work aims to develop tools and methodologies for the assessment of the risks of climate change. Output from climate models is usually in the form of physical parameters, such as rainfall or temperature. While these are interesting for the study of global or regional trends, they are maybe not so relevant to users who need to understand how climate change will make a difference to their activities.

Risk analysis can be used by many different groups and organisations, such as businesses, government services, non-governmental organisations, and even individuals. A risk analysis approach to climate change takes into account both an organisations sensitivities to weather and climate-related hazards, and the vulnerabilities that are inherent in the system. Only by doing this can we quantify the temporal and spatial changes that an organisation will have to plan for in the future.

A key aspect of Andy's work is the multi-disciplinary nature of risk analysis. He has used his analytical skills in a variety of projects such as the risks of climate change on key species and ecosystems; the visualisation of global sea-level rise hazards, and a risk analysis for the impact of climate change on a UK fire service. This last project included understanding vulnerabilities and hazards in relation to flooding and outdoor vegetation fires. This work has helped the fire service to understand its existing risks and sensitivities to weather and climate, while also providing it with a strong basis to understand how these risks may change in the future.

Career background

Andy joined the Met Office Hadley Centre in Summer 2009, as a member of the Climate Impacts Analysis team, which is part of Climate Impacts. Before that he worked as a GIS analyst for Maplecroft, developing environmental, social and political indicators to advise businesses on global risks. The majority of his work history however, is at the European Commission Joint Research Centre, in Italy, where he developed systematic methods and indicators for the assessment of African protected areas. His work helped to inform European decision makers on the pressure and conservation value of protected areas in Africa, and provided relevant information to resource managers in the form of monitoring of seasonal trends in protected areas using Earth observing satellites.