What is UKCP?

Project Background

Building on the success of UK Climate Projections 2009 (UKCP09), the UK Climate Projections 2018 (UKCP18) delivers a major upgrade to the range of UK climate projection tools designed to help decision-makers assess their risk exposure to climate.

The UKCP18 project uses cutting-edge climate science to provide updated observations and climate change projections out to 2100 in the UK and globally. The project builds upon UKCP09 to provide the most up-to-date assessment of how the climate of the UK may change over the 21st century.

UKCP18 updates the probabilistic projections over land and provides a set of high-resolution spatially-coherent future climate projections for the globe at 60km scale and for the UK at 12 km scale. The 12km climate model has been further downscaled to 2.2km scale - a level previously only used for short-term weather forecasts, allowing realistic simulation of high impact events such as localised heavy rainfall in summer. The marine projections of sea-level rise and storm surge have also been updated.

The project equips the UK with information to help adapt to the challenges and opportunities presented by climate change.

UKCP18 Governance Board

The UKCP18 Governance Board has overall responsibility for the delivery of the project.  It has and will continue to, provide strategic oversight of the UKCP18 project, signing off key deliverables and agreeing any recommendations for significant changes in scope.  The Governance Board is chaired by Professor Ian Boyd (Chief Scientific Advisor, Defra) and has senior representatives from the Met Office, Environment Agency, BEIS, Devolved Administrations, Adaptations Sub Committee and the UKCP18 Peer Review Panel.

Peer Review Process

The UKCP18 Peer Review Panel (PRP) is an independent panel of international climate experts, chaired by Sir Brian Hoskins (Grantham Institute, Imperial & University of Reading), which reports directly to the UKCP18 Governance Board.  It has given advice on UKCP18 project scientific methodology and deliverables, providing a strong oversight of the work done to produce the new climate projections out to 2100.

You can find out more about the PRP membership and selection process here [183KB].  The process by which the PRP has informed the development of the UKCP18 climate projections is explained in this infographic. Review comments and replies were recorded during the peer review process and are available for the marine and land projections science reports and guidance as well as the UKCP convection-permitting model projections science report.

User-informed Products and Services

The two UKCP18 project User Groups represent the views of Government and Non-Government users to the UKCP Governance Board and provide invaluable feedback on project decisions and outputs to the project team.  You can find more information on the User Groups here in this document.

In 2022, the user groups were refreshed and a new UKCP Development and Knowledge Sharing network was formed. The network helps to inform future developments in the Defra-funded UKCP Climate Services project - see the article on 17 November 2021 on the Project News page.