FAQ

General

For whom is the Climate Impact Atlas intended?

The Climate Impact Atlas is primarily intended for professionals who are directly or indirectly engaged in climate adaptation. However, the Atlas can also be used by other interested parties.

How can the maps in the Atlas be used?

The maps in the Atlas can be used to gain a picture of the physical consequences of climate change in an area, and how this will impact residents and the environment. The maps can also help to place the issue of climate adaptation on the political agenda.

What has prompted the development of the Climate Impact Atlas?

The Climate Impact Atlas was developed in 2007, when several provinces and research institutes felt the need to provide low-threshold access to national climate information. Since 2012, the Atlas has been managed by the Climate Adaptation Services (CAS) foundation. In 2020, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management commissioned CAS to update and expand the Climate Impact Atlas and to enhance the Viewer. The new version has been available since May 2021.

How often is the Climate Impact Atlas updated?

The Climate Impact Atlas is updated and provided with new, additional maps several times a year. Between times, minor adjustments are made. The introduction of new KNMI climate scenarios will prompt a large-scale update, as such scenarios will affect many maps. New KNMI scenarios are expected to become available by 2023.



Would you like to keep abreast of updates?

Would you like to keep abreast of updates in the Climate Impact Atlas? Then subscribe to the news flash! The news flash (in Dutch) will be emailed in the event of major developments, such as new maps or map narratives.

Use

What is the difference between the Viewer and the map narratives?

Upon visiting the Climate Impact Atlas, you will first enter the Viewer, where you will find all the maps with a brief explanation. The map narratives provide background information to the main map layers in the Viewer and assist you in utilising these maps. Furthermore, the map narratives relating to waterlogging, drought, and heat also feature diagrams showing various climate statistics.

How can you download data?

To download a PDF file of your map image, click on the printer icon in the Viewer. To request GIS files, use the form provided under the “Download data” tab (available soon).

How can you use the data in ArcGIS?

The data from the Climate Impact Atlas is also available as ArcGIS Online content via the ArcGIS website. This enables you, for example, to use the data in a GIS framework without having to download it.

What are the charges for using data from the Climate Impact Atlas?

The Climate Impact Atlas is an open platform: the information is public. Consequently, the data from the Atlas can be used free of charge. In the Viewer, the data can be downloaded in PDF format, free of charge. The helpdesk can provide you with the data in GIS format, also free of charge.

Who is accountable, should data in the Atlas prove incorrect?

The maps in the Atlas are intended to get some perception of the scope of climate effects, and to place the issue of climate adaptation on the political agenda. As the maps are based on national data, they do not warrant local decision-making. Consequently, the research institutes and the CAS foundation decline any responsibility for the consequences of assumptions based on texts or maps from the Climate Impact Atlas.

Map information

Who has developed the maps in the Atlas?

The maps in the Climate Impact Atlas have been developed by several research institutes. To find out which party has developed the map, click the “More information” button in each map layer. You will find this button on the right-hand side, in the “View map layers” box under the legend.

What does the Climate Impact Atlas say about the scope of climate change?

We cannot be sure as to exactly what our future climate will look like. In 2014, the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute KNMI developed four climate scenarios for the Netherlands. The G scenarios feature a global temperature rise of 1 °C by 2050 and the W scenarios feature a rise of 2 °C, both vis-à-vis the current climate: 1981-2010. The GH and WH scenarios feature an additional change in air flow patterns, causing, e.g., summers to become drier.

scenarios_plaatje

Together, the scenarios represent the corner posts within which climate change is likely to develop. The Climate Impact Atlas reflects the two most widely differing scenarios. Across the board, the high scenario corresponds to the KNMI scenario WH, i.e., the worst-case scenario for most of the effects. The low scenario generally corresponds to the KNMI scenario GL, in which the changes remain most limited. If a scenario other than WH rates highest for a particular map, this will be stated in the Viewer. Conversely, the same is true for scenarios lower than GL. For each map layer, the Climate Impact Atlas only shows the available scenarios; the scenarios are not always all available.

More information on the KNMI’14 scenarios is available here. In addition to climate change, some maps also feature assumptions regarding other relevant developments, e.g., socio-economic trends. If this is the case, the map will state so.

Are all the potential climate effects reflected in the Climate Impact Atlas?

The Viewer comprises four theme-based layers, i.e., a type of card index boxes categorising the various maps. More information on this topic is provided in the paragraph headed “How to use the Climate Impact Atlas?”.

Are all the relevant consequences reflected in the Climate Impact Atlas?

With respect to the themes of drought, heat, and waterlogging, the Climate Impact Atlas presents a selection of consequences. This selection is not exhaustive and only intended as a starting point.

How accurate is the data? What is its scale level?

The maps in the Climate Impact Atlas have been developed on the basis of national models. The results provide a picture at the regional scale level; at the local level, the picture is usually approximate and indicative. At the national level, the maps reflect the best data publicly available. The data scale level differs from one map layer to the next. Maps featuring statistics, such as Number of tropical days or Precipitation shortage, reflect differences at the national level. Other maps, such as the Heat map – perceived temperature, are more detailed.

Are there maps that are more specific than the Climate Impact Atlas?

The maps in the Climate Impact Atlas are based on national data. In many cases, you will be able to find more detailed data at the regional and local levels. For example, many district water boards have conducted detailed analyses of their territory. More detailed information may also be obtained from many provincial and municipal authorities.

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