Developing methodologies for impact assessment of atmospheric change

Strengthening scientific prediction of atmospheric changes
Emissions that have already accumulated in the atmosphere will bring about climate change whatever we do now, any future emissions will exacerbate this. This means that as well as making every effort to reduce emissions it is important to understand more about the effects of climate change and prepare to adapt to them.
This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities.

Agenda 21 suggests inviting the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to examine the feasibility of, and where appropriate, develop scientifically credible methodologies for identifying critical loads for greenhouse gas emissions.

The United Kingdom Climate Impacts Programme was set up in 1997 at the University of Oxford, Environmental Change Unit, to bring together a stakeholder-led programme of linked assessments of climate change impacts, in order to enable different organisations (public and private sector) to assess their vulnerability to climate change and to begin the process of developing appropriate adaptation strategies. To facilitate a common and integrated approach to the assessments a number of tools will be prepared. The first of these is a set of scenarios of climate change for the UK. They identify: (1) a warming in the range of 0.16 to 0.350C per decade (which compares with the observed warming of about 0.140C per decade; (2) a summer as hot as 1997 (2nd hottest August on record) could occur 4 times a decade in 2080; (3) the southeast warming faster than the northwest; (4) rainfall tending to increase in winter and autumn across the UK; (5) drying in the southeast and wetting northwest in the spring and summer; (6) a summer with rainfall 50% lower than current levels which occurs once a century in the present climate is expected to occur once a decade; (7) sea-levels rising between 2 to 10 cm per decade; and (8) increasing climatic extremes such as a greater risk of flooding, very severe winter gales and more days with a maximum temperature above 250C.

Type Classification:
F: Exceptional strategies