Risk Management

Water Freedom System

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Within the UKCIP program research is carried out on risk management. New methods have been developed to assess the effects and uncertainties of key factors of climate change. Several models were integrated and tested in pilot projects. This resulted in an increased insight in the required decision-making in case of extreme weather events.

For example, the models were used to indicate the production capacity of the hydropower plant of Glendoe. Especially the decreasing availability of snow during this century is an important issue. This causes uncertainty about the delivery of electricity. At the same time the safety of the Glendoe dam is assessed. An overflow should not happen more often than once every 10,000 year.

In a second example, the river-basin of the Thames is assessed with the new models on the availability of drinking water in the future. The results indicate that the river-basin will have to deal with a decrease of water supply.

In the third example the models were used to indicate the reliance of the British rail network in case of changing precipitation amounts and patterns and the effects on the stability of the slopes. The results in this case show that the chance of network failure as result of climate change decreases, but that the western part of

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Figure 2 Projected future temperature changes under the UKCIP02 Climate Change Scenarios for the thirty-year periods centred on the 2020s, 2050s and 2080s. The Low Emissions and High Emissions scenarios are both shown to indicate the range of uncertainty. All of the scenarios show a significant warming which is more pronounced towards the south-east.

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Figure 3 Projected future changes in precipitation under the UKCIP02 Climate Change Scenarios using the same scheme as for Figure 2. The scenarios suggest a significant shift towards wetter winters and drier summers in the future. This could have serious implications with regard to drought in summer and problems related to flooding in winter.

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Figure 4 Projected future changes in soil moisture content under the UKCIP02 Climate Change Scenarios using the same scheme as Figure 2, but for Summer and Autumn. The presence of drier, more compact soils for a much longer part of the year will have major consequences for built infrastructure. Other seasons of the year show less dramatic changes, with the possibility of more waterlogged ground in winter due to higher moisture content.

Fig. 1.19 Climate scenarios for precipitation and temperature, United Kingdom (Source: Walsh etal.,2007)

Fig. 1.20 Changes in mean temperature in the UK in four seasons 1961-2006 (Jenkins, et al., 2007)

Fig. 1.21 Precipitation changes in the UK 1961

Fig. 1.21 Precipitation changes in the UK 1961

Fig. 1.22 Changes in sea level pressure in the UK 1961-2006 (Jenkins, et al., 2007)
Fig. 1.23 Social-economic and social cultural scenarios (Source: Walsh et al., 2007)

the network has to deal with increased risk, because more slopes are dried out at the end of summer.

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