Background information

This program aims to provide high quality information on regional climate in The Netherlands, now and in the future, for developing national and regional adaptation strategies. Read the summary (pdf), the scientific aspects (pdf) and the societal aspects (pdf) of this research. We did so by:

    • Performing/analyzing regional and global climate model simulations (WP1 and WP2)
    • Providing show cases of high impact future weather situations at very high resolution (WP1)
    • Providing coherent time series, and estimates of extremes and uncertainty ranges (WP2)
    • Applying climate projections to various sectors, including dealing with uncertainty (WP3
    • Communicating climate change and climate change impact to users (WP4)

We have focused on those meteorological phenomena that have the largest impact on Dutch society, which are: extreme periods of precipitation and drought, mean and extremes in wind conditions and the pace of sea level rise. This generates a big challenge as these phenomena involve processes at a wide range of time and spatial scales.

The fact that climate changes are uncertain poses a challenge when developing adaptation strategies with a long time horizon. Therefore, we studied methods to quantify uncertainty, and developed, where possible, methods to assign a probability to a specific climate projection. Furthermore, various methods have been investigated to obtain information at small spatial/temporal scales, and on regional differences within the Netherlands, for example due to land characteristics (cities) and the influence of the North Sea.

We have assessed the impact of regional climate change to various sectors: hydrology, agriculture, eco-systems, spatial planning and air quality. Jointly with the users, we explored the effectiveness of different methods for providing the information on climate change, its effects and uncertainties to the adaptation community.

We provided the knowledge from the other WP’s (and also links to other relevant international databases) through technical services, web-portals and expert services that involve tailoring information and support by experts on the interpretation and use of the information.

Work packages

  • WP1: Climate scenario development: mechanisms of local climate change in the Netherlands (pdf).
    This work package focused on: 
      • the influence of land-surface and land use changes on climate
      • small-scale atmospheric dynamics related to heavy showers and storm. Showcases have been provided of a new-generation climate information obtained from a climate model at very high resolution.
  • WP2: Climate scenario development: time series, extremes and probabilities (pdf).
    In this work package uncertainties have been quantified in the most recent global and regional climate simulations, using probabilistic methodologies applied to regional extremes and climate impacts. In addition, a more complete picture of climate change have been obtained by providing examples of synoptic weather events in a future climate setting consistent with the KNMI’06 climate scenarios. For sea level projections, the focus was on further understanding the processes contributing to sea level changes.
  • WP3: Scenario development for climate change impact (pdf)
    In this work package the coupling and consistency have been improved between climate models and models of hydrology, ecology, agriculture, and air quality. By coupling the models uncertainties in the effects of climate change on natural resources could be studied. The results of these studies have been summarized in different forms for presentations to the adaptation community.
  • WP4: Climate services (pdf)
    The information exchange have been improved throughout the chain of climate research – impact/adaptation research – decision making and vice versa. Climate data have been pre- and post-processed and assistance have been given to users on how to use of the data (tailoring).  Practical tools have been developed to visualize the data on different temporal and spatial scales through web interfaces.