Climate change adaptation programme: progress report 2022

Third annual progress report on "Climate Ready Scotland: Scotland’s Climate Change Adaptation Programme 2019 to 2024".

11. Progress towards SCCAP2 research outcomes

Expanding and improving the evidence base around climate change adaptation through research is vital to help support the implementation of adaptation policy and achieve the high-level outcomes set out in SCCAP2. Across the seven outcomes a number of commitments to undertake research projects were included, some of which build on already completed research. This chapter identifies key areas of progress on the SCCAP2 research programme since the annual report, May 2021. Noting that research needs are continually evolving and that new evidence is becoming available, this chapter also includes new pieces of research which contribute towards the programme's outcomes.

Over the past year there have been three key themes across SCCAP2 research developments: soil health, people, and flooding and drought. The recent CCRA3 and the CCC's first independent assessment of the SCCAP2 programme have also given an initial steer on research needs for the next programme which we continue to progress over 2022/23.

The following is a selection of research on adaptation which has been published since the previous progress report in May 2021:

In February 2021, ClimateXChange (CXC) published a report on drought risk in Scottish forestswhich summarises the current state of research and identifies key knowledge gaps. The main findings were that the effect of severe droughts are likely to be felt primarily in forest productivity and carbon sequestration and that trees differ in their vulnerability to drought impacts. This work helps to support both Outcome 3 and Outcome 5 of SCCAP2.

In March 2022, CXC published an update to the Soil Governance in Scotland report, to reflect changes in policy and legislation for the conservation and management of soil in Scotland. Additionally to this research, as a follow up to the September 2020 Measuring the vulnerability of Scottish soils to a changing climate report, CXC published a scoping study in December 2021 which takes the 13 potential indicators identified in the first report and applies them to various land use contexts. Potential primary soil health indicators were identified for several land use categories. This work helps achieve Outcome 5.1 "Scotland's biodiversity, ecosystems and landscapes are adaptable to a changing climate".

Two pieces of initial research have been conducted which work towards achieving Outcome 2.1 "The most vulnerable to climate change in Scotland are engaged, empowered and able to adapt to climate change":

  • A CXC report conducted by Ipsos Mori and published in May 2022 provides a baseline of awareness in the Scottish public of climate risk, the extent to which this is seen as a current or future problem and to gage support for possible interventions to address this.
  • The second piece of research will be published in summer 2022 and maps vulnerability to 3 key climate risks (heat, air quality, and flooding) against social vulnerability to ascertain which social and geographical factors make a person more susceptible to the adverse effects of climate change. These findings will help shape our engagement work and inform our incorporation of adaptation into just transition planning.



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