Why do we need to map future environmental change scenarios?

Because more accurate projections of the future will enable researchers and others to manage the environment better, and to avoid unintended consequences.

UK-SCAPE Work Package 3: Aims

The UK lacks coordinated projections of how key environmental drivers (pressures affecting the environment such as climate, pollution, land use) and their impacts will change simultaneously over the next decades (to the year 2100). This information is used by those planning for the future, such as governments, industry and scientists. Using a variety of data, including our own long-term datasets, we will address this knowledge gap via a dedicated work package in the UK-SCAPE national capability programme.

SPEED will develop maps for the UK showing future changes in these drivers based on global scenarios created by the International Panel on Climate Change. These scenarios present different possibilities of how society, economies and natural resources might change to the end of the century. SPEED will ensure consistency across different sectors within the UK and with other international scenario initiatives. The SPEED work package will also model the impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem function.

The end result to the wider community will be a globally unique set of maps of how these drivers will change over time in the UK, allowing deeper analysis and enabling future work.


  • 3.1 High resolution climate change variables. Contact James Bullock for more information.
  • 3.2 Projecting land use change. Contact James Bullock for more information.
  • 3.3 Metal pollution risk maps. Contact James Bullock for more information.
  • 3.4 Projecting biodiversity in response to scenarios of key drivers. Contact James Bullock for more information.

Key innovation

We will provide the wider community (academic institutes, Government, NGOs) with a set of standardised projections of environmental drivers that will:

  • Allow analysis of the combined effects of environmental drivers on future changes in biodiversity
  • Facilitate consistency in work assessing future trajectories of the status of biodiversity, soil, water and air
  • Enable the wider community to build on and expand the approach to other environmental drivers (air, water, soil…)