Thursday, 29 July, 2021

Our project is designed to support UK assessment of climate risks and adaptation needs, including future Climate Change Risk Assessments and National Adaptation Programmes, a statutory requirement of the Climate Change Act 2008, as well as place-based risk and adaptation assessments. OpenCLIM  is  an integrated impact assessment model that brings together existing models into a coherent whole for highlighting the impacts of climate change and informing adaptation needs.

Project scope

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The innovative and flexible model framework developed by the project links existing models to consider UK-wide climate impacts and risks, including potential adaptation options. In this first version, it considers the implications of climate change on agriculture, heat stress, inland flooding, and drought/water supply, including expansion of infrastructure and urban areas, biodiversity and land cover dimensions. 

Adaptation is an explicit component, including consideration of factors such as land cover change (e.g., afforestation). The project is engaging with users including the UK government, the devolved administrations and domain experts in each sector. 

The project is considering two detailed case studies: an urban analysis of the Glasgow and the Clyde region, and a more rural analysis of the Norfolk Broads and environs. The case studies will demonstrate the application and interpretation of the models to inform national analysis. Other case studies could be developed with additional funding.


OpenCLIM’s integrated assessment modelling framework, which considers climate change (which influences hazards) and socio-economic change (which influences exposure and vulnerability), as well as adaptation at multiple scales.

Adaptation Inventory

The extent to which adaptation plans and programmes translate into tangible risk-reducing action on the ground, as opposed to adaptive capacity building, remains unclear. The UK Adaptation Inventory aims to address this by documenting adaptation ‘on the ground’, based on national reporting to government by public and private sector organisations and a systematic review of peer-reviewed literature. This analysis informs the national analysis in terms of identifying operational adaptation as distinct from aspirational adaptation.


OpenCLIM is also designed as an open-access platform to allow ongoing development of the integrated model. This uses the DAFNI platform to ensure a legacy beyond the initially funded period. The objective is to develop a community model where new and improved versions are easily incorporated and new and emerging science and policy questions can be easily investigated.

As such, future risk and adaptation assessments, including the Climate Change Risk Assessments and the National Adaptation Programme, could be linked to a living science process, drawing on evolving understanding and stakeholder needs.

This would include improving knowledge in the established sectors considered in OpenCLIM, developing better sectoral linkages and interactions, and adding new models of less established sectors and areas as they emerge. This flexibility includes the ability to reframe and pose new questions as they emerge. 

UK heat stress page 0001

Example UK heat stress vulnerability map (+1.5C climate scenario with SSP5 2050 population scenario) described in the linked journal paper and the author’s Shiny App.

Publications & related pages

Birkinshaw, S. J., & Krivtsov, V. (2022). Evaluating the Effect of the Location and Design of Retention Ponds on Flooding in a Peri-Urban River Catchment. Land, 11(8), 1368.

DAFNI (Data & Analytics Facility for National Infrastructure)

UK heat stress vulnerability shiny app

Jenkins, K., Ford, A., Robson. C., Nicholls. R. J. (2022) UK Adaptation Inventory (version 1). Available at:

Jenkins, K., Kennedy-Asser, A., Andrews, O., Lo, Y. T. E (2022) Updated projections of UK heat-related mortality using policy-relevant global warming levels and socio-economic scenarios. Environmental Research Letters.

Jenkins, K., Ford, A., Robson. C., Nicholls. R. J. (2022) Identifying adaptation ‘on the ground’: Development of a UK adaptation Inventory. Climate Risk Management,36.  

Kennedy-Asser, A.T., Owen, G., Griffith, G.J., Andrews, O., Lo, Y.T.E., Mitchell, D.M., Jenkins, K. and Warren, R.F. (2022). Projected risks associated with heat stress in the UK Climate Projections (UKCP18). Environmental Research Letters.

Thompson, V., Kennedy-Asser, A., Vosper, E., Lo, E., Huntingford, C., Andrews, O., Collins, M., Hegerl, G., and Mitchell, D. (2022) The 2021 western North America heatwave amongst the most extreme events ever recorded globally. Science Advances.


The OpenCLIM project is funded by the UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) Strategic Priorities Fund, part of the UK Climate Resilience programme (Open CLimate Impacts Modelling framework, NE/T013931/1).


Project partners

    UEA 1Newcastle 1Bristol 1 CEH 1 DAFNI 1STFC 1 Sayers  

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