The OpenCLIM project (Open Climate Impacts Modelling Framework) is designed to support UK assessment of climate risks and adaptation, including future Climate Change Risk Assessments and National Adaptation Programmes, by developing and applying an integrated impact assessment model.

Project scope

Climate change manifests in multiple ways and impacts every human and natural system, making consistent risk assessments challenging. There are direct and indirect impacts as these effects cascade and interact with other sectors and other non-climate processes. Adaptation assessments also need to consider both direct and indirect effects and unintended consequences. This has proved challenging in earlier assessments.

The OpenCLIM project is developing and applying a first UK integrated assessment for climate impacts and adaptation. The innovative and flexible model developed by the project will consider UK-wide climate impacts and adaptation in biodiversity, agriculture, infrastructure and urban areas, considering the impacts of flooding, heat stress and changing temperature and precipitation.

The project is considering two detailed case studies: an urban analysis of Glasgow and the Clyde, and a more rural analysis of the Norfolk Broads. The case studies will demonstrate application of the model to inform the national analysis.


OpenCLIM is also designing an open-access platform to allow further development of the integrated model beyond the two-year funding period. The objective will be to develop a community model where new and improved versions could be easily incorporated and innovative science and new policy questions investigated. As such, future risk and adaptation assessments, including the Climate Change Risk Assessments and the National Adaptation Programme, could be linked to a living science process, drawing on evolving understanding and stakeholder needs. This would include improving knowledge in established sectors and areas, and developing better sectoral linkages and interactions, as well as adding new models of less established sectors and areas as they emerge, including the ability to reframe and pose new questions.

Our Project Partners: Environment Agency, Arup, RMS, MottMacDonald, Anglian Centre for Water Studies, Climate Ready Clyde, Broads AuthorityUniversiteit UtrechtDAFNISayers and Partners

Start date: 1st May 2020 Led by Prof Robert Nicholls, Tyndall Centre and University of East Anglia

Duration: 28 months

Value: £2.0 million funded by UK Climate Resilience Programme

The future of climate change risk assessment is about to come a lot closer by Prof Jim Hall at the University of Oxford and Chair of the UK Climate Resilience Programme steering committee

Ideas & insights