Climate Change Planning Scenario


Climate change projections from climate models show that there may be many impacts on infrastructure owners and operators right across the world. A key challenge for those developing options for how to adapt to the latest climate change projections is how to deal with the uncertainty inherent within these. One of the areas of uncertainty is how much greenhouse gas emissions will change in the future. In the UK, Network Rail needed a practical approach for managing the use of emissions scenarios in climate change planning when managing its assets and systems.


Our climate scientists and adaptation experts developed a solution to meet Network Rail’s needs to address the need for managing the use of emission scenarios. This drew on our knowledge of climate impacts, our role in the new UKCP18 climate scenarios (we are active members of the UKCIP18 Non-government User Group) and a long association with Network Rail and the rail industry. Our team included independent specialist John Dora, drawing on his knowledge of climate impacts on rail networks.
The project developed a process diagram to aid Network Rail engineers and designers in application of climate allowances over different time periods. Our work also provided four real-life examples to demonstrate how this process would work for typical Network Rail applications.


The project outputs provide a practical way of allowing for climate change, making it easier for climate change to be considered in Network Rail asset management and system planning. In this way, they help avoid the potential for not adapting at all, or over-adapting, because complexity of information prevents climate allowances being considered, or the wrong allowances being applied. The outputs are to be used to inform Network Rail’s guidance for applying climate allowances across the UK.

Want to know more?

For more information on this project contact Murray Dale or Rachel Brisley. You can also find out more about our work on the climate change resilience webpages.

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