Assessing climate change and its likely impact on selected UK Overseas Territories: Inception Report

This is the Inception Report for the DFID Climate Change in Overseas Territories project


The purpose of the inception report is two-fold. Firstly, to provide a short overview of available climate information, climate change impacts and the key planning decisions sensitive to climate change. Secondly, to describe the approach to the project and work required to complete a comprehensive report by February 2016.

The UK Government is ultimately responsible for the security, economic wellbeing and sustainability of 14 UK Overseas Territories (OTs) located in four distinct ocean basins with local climate strongly linked to ocean conditions and influences such as the El Niño. These are the South Atlantic (limited to St Helena and Tristan da Cunha); the Caribbean (focusing on Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands), the Western Pacific (Pitcairn Islands) and the Indian Ocean (British Indian Ocean Territory – which includes the island of Diego Garcia). Most of these islands are located in the tropics but the most remote island, Tristan da Cunha, is much further south in the South Atlantic.

The evidence collected and analysed for this study includes:

  • a literature review on global climate change and regional changes starting with the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report and including further peer-reviewed and grey literature on climate impacts, adaptation and vulnerability of small islands.
  • collation of climate and hazard data sets from observations and sources available to the UK Met Office such as ERA-Interim Re-Analysis data, Global Climate Models and global marine data sets. The Met Office has previously developed more detailed downscaled climate change scenarios for the Caribbean Region.
  • collection of information on any critical thresholds that would affect the sustainability, economic well-being or essential services on the islands, such as existing flood defence levels, or threshold sea surface temperatures that would alter coastal ecosystems.
  • expert opinion from local engineers and environmental scientists, other Government experts including FCO, DFID and Met Office, primarily through review of the draft report and telephone consultation on any key issues.

This report has been produced by the Met Office for Evidence on Demand with the assistance of the UK Department for International Development (DFID) contracted through the Climate, Environment, Infrastructure and Livelihoods Professional Evidence and Applied Knowledge Services (CEIL PEAKS) programme, jointly managed by DAI (which incorporates HTSPE Limited) and IMC Worldwide Limited.


Wade, S.; Leonard-Williams, A.; Salmon, K. Assessing climate change and its likely impact on selected UK Overseas Territories: Inception Report. Evidence on Demand, UK (2015) 36 pp. [DOI: 10.12774/eod_cr.1115.wade_etal]

Assessing climate change and its likely impact on selected UK Overseas Territories: Inception Report

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