AD1 Task 1: Set a baseline
Setting the baseline involves identification of current risks and consideration of the range and extent of consequences of high temperatures on different groups and services. Also taking into account existing adaptation measures, this step will help you understand the area’s existing adaptive capacity.
Sub-tasks 1 and 2 will help you understand the characteristics of your area in relation to high temperatures. This should be considered at two spatial scales: strategic/catchment and building/development, recognising different opportunities and constraints will be present for each. This approach draws on the guidance in TCPA’s Climate Change Adaptation by Design Guide. More detail about the concept of spatial scales is available on the Sustainable Cities website.
Risk managers, social services, Local Strategic Partnership members (like emergency services) might be able to help identify vulnerable areas, groups and assets. You may wish to refer to Biodiversity South West’s pages on biodiversity and climate change. You will need to consider the impact of climate change on biodiversity across all policy objectives so it may be helpful to bear this in mind when you look at some of the signposted resources.
Individual hot days may have a different impact compared to prolonged periods of high temperatures and heatwaves so it is important to consider the potential impacts of an extreme event too. Some consequences of prolonged high temperatures include heat discomfort, illness and death. Buildings may overheat, leading to an increased demand in energy intensive cooling or access to shaded green space to escape the heat, for example.
For sub-task 3 you will need to use UKCP09 to understand the changes in temperature that may occur in your area. Climate South West may be able to provide useful advice and guidance on interpreting UKCP09 for the South West region.
|For this policy objective, the impact of the urban heat island (UHI) may also be relevant. UKCP09 does not yet take into account vegetative cover. There is a lot of research underway in this area. It is currently difficult to quantify the impact of adaptive measures in terms of urban cooling and local authorities often use checklists to ensure action is taken to minimise the further intensification of the UHI effect. Due to the predominantly rural nature of the South West and the presence of market towns rather than large, densely populated cities this toolkit does not focus in detail on the urban heat island and its effects. For more information it may be helpful to look at some of the studies carried out by London including the Greater London Authority’s (2006) London’s Urban Heat Island, technical report.|
To fulfil sub-task 4 you will need to identify any existing adaptation measures that help vulnerable groups and assets to adapt to climate change, now and in the future. Taking this into account will help to reduce the level of residual risk and any proposed adaptation options can then be integrated with existing measures. It is also important to identify existing measures so they can be monitored and maintained.