Climate Risk Indicators: developing indicators of climate risk using UKCP18 to support risk assessments and enhance resilience

Lead Research Organisation: UK Ctr for Ecology & Hydrology fr 011219
Department Name: Hydro-climate Risks


In order to enhance resilience to weather events and climate change, it is necessary to assess risk. This project provides first estimates of a series of indicators of climate risk, using UKCP18, relevant to climate risk assessments at national, devolved, and local levels, and over different time horizons. It will provide information valuable to the next Climate Change Risk Assessment, and help organisations understand their current and future risks.

The project will also provide information about the relationship between future increases in temperature and future risk. For some indicators, risk will increase rapidly as temperature increases, but for others risk may only begin to increase significantly at higher temperature increases. Changes in risk will also be uncertain because we cannot yet predict future climate very precisely, so the project will also allow us to assess the confidence in projections of future risk.

The project uses the new UKCP18 climate projections, and concentrates in the first instance on risks of weather extremes, floods and droughts, and risks to agricultural productivity.

Planned Impact

The project is designed to provide policy-relevant information on current and future climate risk to a range of beneficiaries, primarily in national, local and devolved governments.

These beneficiaries are organisations with statutory or operational responsibilities for assessing current and future climate risks and enhancing resilience. They will benefit from consistent, robust and policy-relevant information on current and future climate risks, which will enable them to (i) assess the magnitude of risks and the confidence in that assessment, (ii) compare risks in order to prioritise actions, and (iii) compare observed experience with projected future trends. At present, these beneficiaries do not have information on risks in forms that are policy-relevant (in terms of the types of indicators and how information is presented), and information on risks at different time scales is provided in different ways making it difficult to compare current and future risks.

At the national scale, these beneficiaries include the Adaptation Sub-Committee of the Committee on Climate Change (responsible for delivering the evidence report for the third Climate Change Risk Assessment), the Civil Contingencies Secretariat of the Cabinet Office, and departments responsible for specific sectors. At the devolved scale, the beneficiaries include directorates of the Scottish Government and the Scottish National Centre for Resilience, the Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales, and Northern Ireland government departments. At the local scale, the beneficiaries include local councils and Local Resilience Forums (England and Wales), Regional Resilience Partnerships (Scotland) and Emergency Preparedness Groups (Northern Ireland). These all have statutory and operational responsibilities to assess climate risks.

The regulated public service providers (water service companies, energy utilities and transport providers) also have statutory obligations under the 2008 Climate Change Act to report on their risks.


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Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
NE/S016457/1 01/02/2019 30/11/2019 £125,308
NE/S016457/2 Transfer NE/S016457/1 01/12/2019 31/05/2020 £31,327