The Met Office has launched its Climate Data Portal, providing telecoms organizations with enhanced access to climate data and resources to improve their understanding and response to climate change. As part of the Met Office’s broader data optimization strategy, the portal offers 60 different data layers, along with guidance and information.

Developed in collaboration with Esri UK, a geospatial technology provider, the portal facilitates the seamless integration of open climate data with users’ own data, enabling businesses and government organizations to assess the future impacts of extreme weather conditions like heatwaves, floods, or droughts on their operations.

Government entities, utilities, engineering firms, urban planners, transport companies, and energy industries are expected to be the main users of the Climate Data Portal. By combining the expertise of the Met Office with Esri’s geospatial tools, the portal presents complex scientific climate projections in user-friendly formats, allowing for visualization, analysis, and integration into business processes for informed decision-making. Spatial analysis can be performed at global, regional, or local levels, enabling the development of location-specific action plans.

The collaboration between the Met Office and Esri UK has spanned over two decades, and this project represents a significant milestone in leveraging geospatial technology to address climate-related challenges. Professor Jason Lowe, Head of Climate Services at the Met Office, highlighted the shift in climate science from defining the problem to providing solutions at the local level.

By combining the latest projections from the Met Office with Esri UK’s geospatial tools, the reach and value of climate data are significantly enhanced. Stakeholders in the UK can now explore their physical climate risks over the next 50 to 100 years, enabling them to plan and prepare for extreme weather events, climate change, and the reporting obligations associated with climate-related regulations.

The Climate Data Portal offers insights into temperature extremes and their impacts on various sectors. For instance, it can help understand the effects of high temperatures on transport infrastructure, health, and energy demand. The portal also supports organizations in initiating their response to regulatory climate reporting, including the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), which is being implemented across the UK.

Pete Wilkinson, Managing Director of Esri UK, hailed the Climate Data Portal as a significant advancement in making climate data more accessible and usable for UK stakeholders. Given that climate change presents a geographic challenge, leveraging geospatial technology as a delivery mechanism for climate data enables quick access and facilitates spatial and temporal analysis. This, in turn, helps identify at-risk areas and develop tailored action plans to address climate risks effectively.