The UK government is required to publish a climate change risk assessment (CCRA) every five years. This provides the evidence base to inform government-led national adaptation programmes in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
For the third such assessment (CCRA3), Defra asked the Adaptation Committee of the Committee on Climate Change to prepare an independent report setting out the latest evidence on the risks and opportunities to the UK from climate change. To inform this document, the Adaptation Committee commissioned several research projects to feed into the technical chapters. RSK company ADAS was directly involved in two of these projects in 2018/20.
For the first project, ADAS was part of a consortium led by WSP that evaluated a key evidence gap from the CCRA2 evidence report in understanding how climate change affects the interaction of risks across three core sectors: infrastructure and the built and natural environments. ADAS provided technical expertise to the consortium on climate change impacts on agriculture and the natural environment. The project outputs included 12 interlinked systems maps showing principal interactions within and between the three sectors.
For the second project, ADAS was part of a consortium led by the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology that assessed climate-driven threshold effects in the natural environment. The project provided improved evidence of possible climate risks in the natural environment that do not follow linear patterns of change and an assessment of the extent to which current and potential future adaptation strategies can address the risks to different areas of society, either through preventing the threshold impact from occurring or managing the impact when it does. The scope included a variety of habitat types such as fresh water, farmland, grassland, peatland, woodland, marine and coastal margins.
These research reports form part of the evidence base for the Adaptation Committee’s independent advice for informing CCRA3, which is due in 2022.