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Awareness raising of climate impacts: Kent County Council

Objectives: The 'Kent View' platform provides a wealth of GIS information including socio-demographics (MOSAIC), sites of service provision such as care homes, locations of key infrastructure, planning constraints and ecology. By mapping the UKCP09 projections on to this platform awareness can be increased as to the impacts of climate change on Kent and Kent County Council's understanding of what it will mean for their residents, infrastructure and services. Using the 25 km resolution has allowed for a more local picture of what climate change could mean for the county. The platform will primarily be used for awareness raising across Kent partners.

UKCP09 products used: User Interface

How were UKCP09 products used?

  1. UKCP09 shapefiles were downloaded from the User Interface from the customisable maps output page.
  1. These shapefiles were used to overlay future climate variables onto other socio-demographic information in the KentView platform.
  1. As the Interface will primarily be used for raising awareness in the first instance both Central estimate (50% probability level) and what has been termed extreme case (90% probability level in most cases, except summer precipitation at 10% probability level) were used.
  1. The following data sets were chosen:

· Annual Mean Temperature: Provides an overview of projected temperature change

· Warmest days of summer: to highlight potential heatwave risk

· Summer precipitation: to highlight potential drought risk

· Winter precipitation: to highlight potential increase

· Change in wettest days of winter: to highlight increase in downpours

  1. Users are able to tick one climate variable, time period and emission scenario at a time to overlay onto other socio-demographic information. This gives an indication of hot spots of areas vulnerable to changes in future climate.

Difficulties & limitations

  • Initially, the 90% probability level was used as the extreme case for summer precipitation rather than 10% probability level. 
  • Labelling the layers as percentage probability levels was found to be confusing to the majority of users, so different terminology was used but links were provided to the UKCIP website for further information. As the Kent View site is accessible to a wide range of people it was necessary to make it as user-friendly as possible.

Lessons learned

  • Downloading the shapefiles was straightforward and could be overlaid easily on to the current KentView system as the format was consistent.
  • The Projections in Practice event guidance was useful in understanding how to use the UKCP09 User Interface.
  • There was some confusion around the probabilities, i.e. because summer is projected to dry, the summer precipitation extreme case scenario is actually the 10% probability level whereas, for other variables, one would look at the 90% probability level. 
  • It is recommended that one uses the GIS expertise available in the organisation.
  • Due to the UKCP09 CDF data (from which the shapefiles are derived) not having variable correlation we did not overlay two climate variables on top of each other in the GIS layer. In order to prevent users doing this in Kent View we have only allowed selection of one climate variable at a time.

How will the results be communicated to the target audience?

The information has been circulated widely across Kent County Council partners and was further communicated through other Kent County Council work on adaptation, e.g. adaptation action plan guidance, workshops and conferences.

Find out more

  • Contact details: Sarah Anderson, Kent County Council.
  • Download sample images from KentView combined with UKCP09 data: