Do you have a question regarding the Climate Impact Atlas? Perhaps you can find the answer on this FAQ page. Is your question not listed? Then contact us via the Help Desk.
How can the Climate Impact Atlas be used?
The Atlas is an excellent starting point for local and regional authorities conducting a climate stress test. Furthermore, the Atlas is of relevance to, e.g., educational establishments, students, businesses, and residents. The Climate Impact Atlas is based on national data and can be used free of charge. With respect to climate effects, the Climate Impact Atlas is structured around five themes: flooding, waterlogging, drought, heat, and water quality. In addition to providing a first impression of how climate change may impact the Netherlands, now and in the future, the Atlas also comprises contextual maps, such as soil maps and maps providing a picture of potential adaptation opportunities.
The Viewer can be used to view all the maps. Questions relating to the Viewer are answered below.
How can the Viewer be used?
The Viewer provides access to various maps that set out how climate change may impact your area, focusing on the themes of waterlogging, drought, heat, flooding, and water quality. The maps are subdivided into five categories: climate change, physical impacts, impacts, basic maps, and borders. Specific areas can be viewed by zooming in or by using the search function to search for a specific location.
How can you select map layers in the viewer?
To the left of the screen, you will see the “Add map layers” window and immediately below, “Filter by theme”. The themes are waterlogging, drought, heat, flooding, and water quality. For example, if you are only interested in maps pertaining to waterlogging, you click on that particular theme. Subsequently, you can select map layers by checking the box for the title of the map layer.
What map layers can be selected?
The map layers are subdivided into five categories:
- Climate change: weather and climate events. These are general maps on climate change, compiled by the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute KNMI. Examples include maps showing the number of tropical days and maps showing annual precipitation.
- Physical impacts: these maps contain information on how climate change may impact an area in terms of, e.g., its water system, geographical relief, and the soil. Examples include the maps on water depths during severe downpours, on the urban heat island effect, and on soil subsidence. These maps do not reflect any potential consequences for residents and the environment.
- Impacts: these maps show the risks and, in some cases, the opportunities entailed in physical consequences. These maps address the consequences of climate change for residents and the environment. Examples include the perceived temperatures heat map, the map on pole rot risks, and the map showing urban infiltration opportunities.
- Basic maps: these maps can be used to gain additional context, e.g., on the soil, on vegetation, and on neighbourhood typology.
- Borders: these maps show the borders of the territories governed by various local and regional authorities.
How can the map layers be viewed?
Have you selected one or more map layers in the window on the left? Then you will see a window entitled “View map layers” appear on the right, in which you can select a scenario. The current climate can be compared with two scenarios: the “2050 Low” scenario, involving a limited change in the climate, and the “2050 High” scenario, involving a considerable change in the climate. Above the legend pertaining to each map layer, the scenarios available for that particular map are shown. The Viewer only displays the map layers for which the scenario is available.
Want to know more about a particular map?
Would you like more information on a particular map? Then click on “More information” below the legend. For many maps, this will display the corresponding map narrative.
In addition to a viewer, the Climate Impact Atlas also contains map narratives. Questions relating to the map narratives are answered below.
How can the map narratives be used?
The map narratives provide an explanation to key maps. They explain what is shown on the maps and help you set to work with the information provided. In many cases, they also provide guidelines for potential solution strategies. Furthermore, the narratives set out how the maps have been developed. The map narratives are divided into six categories: Waterlogging, Heat, Drought, Flooding, Water Quality, and Basic Maps.
Who compiles the map narratives?
The map narratives are compiled by the research institutes that have developed the maps, in collaboration with the Climate Adaptation Services foundation.
Questions relating to downloading Climate Impact Atlas data are answered below.
How can map images be downloaded?
To download a map image in PDF format, click on the printer icon in the Viewer. GIS files can be requested via the “Retrieving data” tab.
Can underlying data be downloaded?
Would you like to download the GIS data? Click on the “Retrieve data” tab to retrieve the GIS files. Retrieval is free of charge, as the files involve open data, provided by Geopackage/Geotiff. If you are using data from the Climate Impact Atlas, you must credit its source: “Climate Impact Atlas, 2024”. As the data is covered by the Creative Commons license (CC BY 4.0), acknowledgement is mandatory.
How can the data be used in a GIS environment?
Would you like to use data from the Climate Impact Atlas in your own GIS environment without downloading the underlying data? Then you have two options:
Can data from the Climate Impact Atlas be used for other purposes?
The Climate Impact Atlas uses open data. This means that government authorities and businesses are free to use the information for new purposes, such as stress tests. Are you using data from the Climate Impact Atlas? In that case, you must credit its source: “Climate Impact Atlas, 2024”. As the data is covered by the Creative Commons license (CC BY 4.0), acknowledgement is mandatory.
What are the costs involved in using data from the Climate Impact Atlas?
The Climate Impact Atlas is an open platform, providing public information. Consequently, data from the Atlas can be used free of charge. In the Viewer, the data can be downloaded as a PDF file at no cost. It can also be obtained free of charge in GIS format, via the “Retrieve data” tab.
Who is accountable if data from the Atlas is found to be inaccurate?
The maps contained in the Atlas are intended to visualise the scope of climate effects and to garner attention to the issue of climate adaptation. As the maps are based on national data, they do not warrant decision-making at the local level. Consequently, the research institutes involved, and the Climate Adaptation Services foundation disclaim any responsibility for the consequences of any assumptions based on texts or maps contained in the Climate Impact Atlas.
Developments and updates
Questions relating to developments in, and updates of the Climate Impact Atlas are answered below.
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. With effect from 2020, CAS has been performing this task under the auspices of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. Among other things, this means that CAS will regularly update, expand, and enhance the Climate Impact Atlas.
Who has developed the maps in the Atlas?
The maps in the Climate Impact Atlas have been developed by various research institutes. To find out the party responsible for the development of a particular map, click on the “More information” button in each map layer. You will find this button on the right-hand side, in the “View map layers” box underneath the legend.
Who has compiled the map narratives in the Atlas?
The map narratives have been compiled by the research institutes that have developed the maps, in collaboration with the CAS foundation.
How often is the Climate Impact Atlas updated?
Several times a year, the Climate Impact Atlas undergoes a (minor) update, during which new maps are added. In 2023, the new KNMI scenarios became available. Consequently, the period ahead will see a major update, as these scenarios affect many of the maps. More information on this update is provided on the “Under development (in Dutch)” page.
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.
Underlying data and climate scenarios
Do you have a question regarding the data underlying the maps? Or would you like to know more about the scenarios underpinning the maps? Then read the questions and answers below.
On what data are the scenarios based?
The current climate is based on data covering the period 1980 to 2010. The Low and High scenarios are geared to the climate scenarios of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute KNMI. Some are still based on the scenarios developed in 2014, whilst others already reflect the climate scenarios compiled in 2023. In addition to climate change, some maps also reflect assumptions regarding other developments, such as socio-economic trends. Any such assumptions are stated with each map.
How significantly is the climate changing, according to the Climate Impact Atlas?
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, based on the global rise in temperature. 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.
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 climate 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.
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.
The KNMI'23 scenarios are now available. More information on these new scenarios is provided on the KNMI website. Over the next few years, we will work on developing new maps in the Climate Impact Atlas based on the new KNMI'23 scenarios.
Are all the potential climate effects reflected in the Climate Impact Atlas?
The Climate Impact Atlas features maps that provide information on the themes of drought, heat, waterlogging, flooding, and water quality. The maps in the Climate Impact Atlas provide a first impression of how climate change may impact an area. However, the information is not exhaustive. The maps are regularly updated and supplemented with new maps.
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. A large proportion of the regional and local data can be accessed via the Stress tests monitoring map. This map also shows available national Atlases, such as the one compiled by Rijkswaterstaat, the executive branch of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.