The UK Climate Resilience Programme ran from 2019 to 2023

Climate service pilots

A major theme in the UKCR science plan is the evolution of climate services and their delivery. This work package focuses on using the climate risk quantification information from elsewhere in the programme to develop and evaluate climate service pilot services.

As well as providing the opportunity to better understand how to use the latest climate science research in real-world applications, these pilot services also provide the opportunity to better understand what will be needed from the core climate science in the future. An additional benefit is that many of these pilot services are being set-up to produce legacy datasets that can be used in future programmes and projects. The choice of pilot climate service areas was guided by an earlier review of gaps.

These pilot services have been chosen to also provide measurable socio-economic benefits and where possible datasets that can be used more widely. The learning from these pilot services will also be used by WP4 in the creation of a framework for UK Climate Services.

The initial areas of focus for pilot climate services are: urban climate resilience, coastal resilience, water supply resilience, health resilience. There is also further scoping exploration of some initial climate services for transportation and energy generation/supply.

The research will focus on:

  • Scoping the needs for climate resilience information and resilience building in the UK and assess where the greatest benefits can be derived.
  • Selecting and developing a number of pilot services to refine the approach to the provision of risk-based services and the effective use of risk information from the other work packages.
  • Establishing methodologies for valuing climate services.

The Work Package is split into a number of activities:

a. Prototype development: Meeting Urban User Needs (Met Office led)

Aim: This project aims to understand user needs for specific applications of local decision-making in aspects such as health, infrastructure and water. It will develop early prototyping of services to satisfy these needs.

The work has focused on the co-development of urban climate services for Bristol City Council. A particular area of interest is the heat island effect in the city, with the initial focus being on understanding the present-day hazard as well as the future heat hazard within the city. Plans include further development of the existing prototypes and adapting them for other cities, and to develop a new flood related prototype through co-development with partners in Northern England. This links with the work on climate modelling and catastrophe modelling approaches described previously (WP2b). There is also scope for cross-work package links to the compound hazard work.

UPDATE: Outputs from this project in the form of a suite of fact sheets (city packs) can be found on the full project page.

Initial findings can be found here: Developing Urban Climate Services

b. Prototype development: Improving Coastal Resilience (Met Office led)

Aim: To expand the existing Sea Level Rise tool and the UKCP18 methodology and to co-develop with potential users a coastal resilience service that brings together other relevant data such as tide gauge data or with surge and wave modelling outputs.

Status: The project commenced November 2019 with the initial focus being on co-defining the nature and scope of the output with potential users of a coastal resilience service. This has involved working with the Environment Agency to identify potential users and with National Oceanographic Centre (NOC) on the capabilities required for coastal modelling. It is clear that a key component of any future UK coastal resilience demonstrator will involve future changes to sea level. Work is currently underway to produce a relocatable sea level rise (SLR) projections tool based on the approach within UKCP18. In due course this will be combined with other tools to address resilience issues, the specifics of which will be developed through discussions with users. This will likely include the combination with tide gauge data or with surge and wave modelling outputs and tools (from UKCP18 and elsewhere), bringing in information about extremes from observations and modelling with the SLR component. At a later stage this project will consider the need for research in the marine environment of the shelf seas around the UK and links are being made with the new SPF programme on marine sustainability.

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c. Prototype development: Addressing the resilience needs of the UK health sector, Jan 2020 – Dec 2020 (Reading University & University College London)

Click for full project page. Data from this project is available here

d. Prototype development: enhancing the resilience of the water sector to drought events Jan 2020 – July 2021 (CEH, BGS, HR Wallingford)

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e. Review of climate resilience mainstreaming into regulatory and voluntary standards, national guidance, and other sectorial/industry codes of practice Jan 2020- Aug 2020 (JBA, John Dora Consulting Limited, TRIOSS, University of Leeds, British Standards Institute)

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f. Prototype Development: co-developing needs and options for address for transport and energy sectors (Met Office led)

Aim: To scope and co-develop initial prototype climate services for the transport and energy sectors, and to test those ideas.

Status: This project worked with the UK energy and transport sectors to co-develop climate service prototypes which aimed to provide tailored climate information for users. Work was undertaken with the Department for Transport and its agencies which allowed user requirements to be explored, enabling pertinent information on scenarios and future extremes to be shared, complemented by a co-developed factsheet. For energy, the work led to a better understanding of the user needs and how these align with current climate information, which would be essential for the development of any future climate services prototype. This project also provided overarching recommendations on co-developing climate services from our experience of collaboratively working with climate services users.

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