Current Research into Climate Change
The UK Climate Impacts Programme helps organisations assess how they may be affected by climate change so they can prepare for its impact by coordinating research on the impacts of climate change at UK regional and national levels. Climate change scenarios and the impacts of climate change on UK regions and the UK economy may be accessed online.
- The UKCP09 UK Climate Projections were launched on 18 June, providing climate information for the UK to the end of this century with projections of future changes to climate, based on simulations from climate models.
- UKCIP is helping to deliver the Projections in Practice (PiP) programme, aiming to help businesses and other organisations understand how to use UKCP09.
The Met Office Hadley Centre leads international research into climate change and its impacts on current and future generations. It provides in-depth information and advises the UK Government on climate change issues.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assesses scientific, technical and socio-economic information to understand climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation.
The Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research is the UK network of excellence for generating sustainable responses to climate change, based on world-class interdisciplinary analysis and innovative forms of stakeholder dialogue. Information on the Phase II Programme (2006–2009), including sustainable coasts and engineering cities, may be accessed online.
The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution announced on 19 October 2007 that Adapting the UK to climate change will be the subject of their 28th report. They are inviting views on key issues – broad topics which may be covered include land use, sea level rise, energy, agriculture, construction and infrastructure and environmental management.
The Natural England website provides links to current research relating to biodiversity.
Climate Change and the Historic Environment
English Heritage has published new guidance on Flooding and Historic Buildings to assist those who live in, own or manage historic buildings that are threatened by flooding.
The English National Park Authorities Association has published a climate change statement which celebrates climate change related work happening in National Parks and sets out the vision for future action.
Natural England and English National Parks have announced the beginning of a shared agreement which aims to make progress in three important policy areas which includes improving understanding of the effects of unavoidable climate change on National Parks, contributing to mitigation measures that avoid further emissions, and increases the resilience of National Parks to a changing climate.
Natural England published Climate Change Character Area reports on 31 March 2009, which cover four England landscapes with contrasting habitats and landscapes: Cumbria High Fells, the Shropshire Hills, Dorset Downs and Cranborne Chase, and the Broads. The reports suggest a range of potential effects on biodiversity, landscape, recreational and historical assets and suggest practical actions to make the areas more resilient to climate change.
The National Trust has published ‘Shifting Shores in the South West’, a report considering the impacts of the rise in sea level, coastal flooding and increased erosion on the south west coastline of England held by the National Trust.
National Trust research has found that ten favourite coastal areas are at risk from coastal erosion, sea level rise and increased storminess. These include St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall, Birling Gap, Sussex, Farne Islands in Northumberland and Studland Beach in Dorset.
CABE have published Public space lessons: adapting public space to climate change in July 2008, offering ‘guidance on how to adapt towns and cities through thoughtfully designed public spaces offering water storage, cooling and carbon absorption’.
The spring issue 57 of English Heritage’s Conservation Bulletin focuses on adapting to climate change.
The National Trust has published Nature’s Capital (PDF 467.19KB, March 2008) which discusses land management in relation to four key environmental services: clean water, flood risk mitigation, carbon stewardship and access to green space for health and well-being.
The Three Regions Climate Change Group published Your home in a changing climate: retrofitting existing homes for climate change impact in February 2008. The focus of the report is ‘to inform and promote the adaptation of the existing residential building stock for a future climate… with an emphasis on water conservation, drainage, flood risk and ventilation’.
English Heritage has recently updated Climate change and the historic environment (January 2008) which advises on the impacts of climate change, as well as responses relating to adaptation and mitigation (PDF c1MB). Also available Energy conservation in traditional buildings published in June 2007 (PDF 1.22MB).
The Centre for Sustainable Heritage, UCL has produced two reports:
- Engineering historic futures: stakeholders dissemination and scientific research report was published in 2006 and investigates the technological issues of the effects of changing moisture balance on the historic fabric. It gains an increased understanding of the wetting properties and drying processes of historic masonry walls and combines the investigation of two case studies, Blickling Hall in Norfolk and Brodick Castle on the Isle of Arran, together with laboratory experiments and the application of computer simulation modelling (PDF 9.41MB).
- Climate change and the historic environment report, commissioned by English Heritage published in 2005, is a major scoping study on climate change and the historic environment including historic buildings and standing structures, buried archaeology, parks and gardens. The report was carried out with strong regional participation from heritage managers in the East of England and the North West of England as well as scientists and policy makers.
NOAH’S ARK – global climate change impact of the built heritage and cultural landscapes - an EC initiative involving a consortium of European research organisations.
The National Trust advises on the impacts of climate change on the historic environment in Forecast? Changeable (PDF 1.28MB).
A UNESCO publication, Case studies on climate change and world heritage edited by A Colette (PDF 13.90MB), includes sections on archaeological sites and historic cities and settlements.
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