28 February 2019
This week we have experienced some of the highest winter temperatures ever recorded in the UK, with record temperatures for February broken twice and a high of 21.2C at Kew Gardens on Tuesday. The Met Office announced on Twitter that they would be doing an attribution study to ascertain how the temperatures were affected by climate change, and went on to point out that a Met Office analysis in 2014 already showed that, “since 2000, there had been 10 times as many high temperature records broken as cold temperature ones”. This May, Fit for the Future will team up with the Met Office and RSPB to bring the charities, heritage organisations and others in our membership the latest insight into how the UK climate is projected to change, how it might affect them, and how they can put a strategy in place to adapt and build resilience.
Network members hear about climate impacts and adaptation measures at National Trust's Tradegar House in Newport
The UK Climate Projections had a major upgrade in November of 2018 with the release of UKCP18. Projected climate trends over the 21st century include rising average temperatures, and a higher likelihood of extreme weather events such as heatwaves and flooding- the projections revealed, for example, that heatwaves like the one we experienced in the summer of 2018 could be normal for the UK by mid-century. As well as providing the most up-to date assessment of how the climate of the UK may change, UKCP18 is an open resource of five in-depth climate data sets that can be used as a tool for organisations to guide decision-making and boost resilience.
Many of the organisations in our membership are already gathering qualitative and quantitative data on the impacts of a changing climate over recent years, with National Trust reporting on the financial costs of increasingly extreme weather events and Historic Environment Scotland classifying 28 of the sites in their care as 'very high risk' in their Climate Change Risk Assessment published in 2018.
Adapting to the projected changes and building resilience has never been more urgent, and many of the charities, heritage organisations and others in our membership are keen to assess potential risks and put an adaptation strategy in place. But how do practitioners go about this? And how do they use the data and the tools provided by the Met Office to their best advantage?
As always, we want to take a practical approach to helping our members answer these questions. This May 1st we invite the environmental practitioners in our network to join us at the Met Office HQ in Exeter for in depth insight into the projections from the people who created them. Practitioners will be able to gain the knowledge needed to identify potential climate impacts on their land, buildings and operations, and explore what to do about it. The day will include practical guidance on how to access and use the wealth of UK Climate Projections data now available.
Simon McLellan, Head of Data at Met Office presenting at our annual members' event, the Network Harvest
RSPB are at the forefront of climate change adaptation work in the conservation sector, with various programmes covering research, campaigning and the creation of tools and guidance. They also work with policy officers and land managers to translate research findings into practical adaptation guidance.
RSPB’s Climate Change Policy Officer, Olly Watts, will be delivering a workshop at the event on 1st May in which organisations can determine if a strategy is required for their organisation and, if so, how to develop and maintain such a strategy. Quantitative and qualitative approaches to assessing impacts and identifying vulnerabilities will be covered during the session.
This event is part of an ongoing work stream developed by Fit for the Future to ensure that members prepare their activities and organisations for climate change and make them more robust and sustainable for the long-term. If you are a member of the network and would like to book a space on this event, please contact Polly. If you not a member but would like to join more than 100 organisations that are making their land, buildings and operations adaptive, resilient and climate-friendly, contact us.