Management of the UKCP09 process
The UKCP09 process began in 2002 with an initial meeting between Defra, the Met Office Hadley Centre and the UKCIP to discuss possible improvements which might be introduced following the publication of the UKCIP02 scenarios. In 2004, Defra agreed to fund the new projections based on proposals from the Met Office. At the same time, Defra conducted an independent review of the work of UKCIP which noted that the scientific and technical quality of the UKCIP02 scenarios was high, and that they were widely used and respected. However, the review noted that:
“for many stakeholders the main issue is that uncertainties with the scenario-based information mean that the level of confidence which can be placed in them is still not sufficient to justify major adaptation decisions”.
Recognising that uncertainties will always be part of exploring possible futures, the review suggested that for the future set of projections, results should consider the nature of the uncertainties and make them more transparent to users. The review also suggested that future projections should take account of uncertainty, making the uncertainty more transparent; include more than just the Met Office climate model; and they should provide more information on extremes. These challenges are behind a number of the developments introduced within UKCP09.
Since 2004, the involvement of other organisations in the development of UKCP09 has grown substantially. At the time of launch more than 70 individuals representing some 34 organisations have contributed directly to the development of UKCP09. Broadly, input has been centred on those involved in creating UKCP09 products; those offering scientific advice; and representatives of the user community.
UKCP09 Management Groups:
The number of organisations involved in UKCP09 has meant that the initial Steering Group, which first met in 2006, soon became too large to operate effectively. This led to the formation of a three group management team (illustrated below). The Steering Group has maintained overall accountability for the project (with Defra acting as Senior Responsible Officer). The decisions made by the Steering Group have been informed by a Project Management Group covering the day to day technical management of the project (chaired by Defra), and a stakeholder led Link to Users' panel pages on UKCIP website to input stakeholder needs to the decision making process (chaired by UKCIP). Clear roles for each of the groups have been achieved through defined terms of reference, set communication pathways, and individuals from Defra, Met Office and UKCIP sitting on all three groups. The management process since 2006 has involved Steering Group meetings twice a year, Project Management Group meetings every two months and the Users’ Panel meeting on average every four months.
A key premise of the UKCP09 development process has been the interaction between the scientific community who developed the projections and the stakeholder community who will be using them. The management group structure was designed to ensure that both have had a voice on major decisions (through the Project Management Group and the Users’ Panel, respectively), and to ensure as far as possible that, while remaining scientifically valid, the outputs meet user requirements. The Steering Group, where necessary, mediated between these two groups, and ultimately Defra had the final decision-making power.
UKCP09 programme structure
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