Photo credit  |  ASTER Land Surface Temperature for London at 90 m resolution | University of Leicester, NCEO

Heat data and vulnerability

Events, Heat, Land, UHI  |  03 March, 2020  |  Reading time: 3 minutes

29 November 2019  |  Defra

Space4Climate worked with the London Climate Change Partnership to start a conversation about the potential to obtain and use data to create a heat vulnerability index for UK cities, or a similar information product, to support implementation, measuring progress, and monitoring heat risk across a range of different needs and sectors. 

Space4Climate worked with the London Climate Change Partnership to run a series of workshops on Heat data and vulnerability.

The first event, which took place in November 2019, brought 33 professionals from across the research, industry and policy communities. to start a conversation about the potential to obtain and use data to create a heat vulnerability index for cities, or a similar information product to support implementation, measuring progress, and monitoring risk across a range of different needs and sectors.

The workshop was chaired by Kristen Guida, manager of the London Climate Change Partnership.  The structure included a series of talks and presentations, providing insight into the heat data challenges faced by, and requirements of, a range of professionals including those from city decision making, environmental health, and the Committee on Climate Change. Discussion also included activities to develop vulnerability datasets and new heat datasets available from the Earth Observation science community

Output:

The workshop report summarises the presentations and key discussion points that emerged during the workshop.In light of the talks, delegates were asked to consider and discuss:

  • What is needed by people trying to implement and monitor adaptation in relation to heat
  • What are the data challenges and next steps – ensuring that data is relevant

Key messages and issues raised:

  • There is potential to link urban heat and impacts for the use and effectiveness of green infrastructure – and to understand the limits of GI interventions
  • Opportunities exist to influence and set priorities for future earth observation missions – a few user requirements were identified, for example, the ability to see the impact of smaller areas of vegetation.
  • Heat and other with other socioeconomic and asset level information can be combined to meet a range of user needs in understanding and promoting resilience
  • We still need to understand the viability of the adaptation messages we’re recommending, and linked to this, consider why people are vulnerable. For example, specific health problems v. limits on mobility that lead to lots of time spent indoors.
  • Still links to be made with other agendas – including air pollution and contaminated land.

A number of positive steps forward were suggested by the workshop participants:

  • A further technical workshop to scope the possibility of a heat vulnerability index with uses for multiple cities and sectors/users
  • The Committee on Climate Change to follow up with researchers to consider thresholds and how to use a baseline of socioeconomic vulnerability data.