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Denmark

Climate Atlas (DK0066)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Denmark Action Plan 2019-2021

Action Plan Cycle: 2019

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: The Danish Meterological Institute

Support Institution(s): State stakeholders involved: The Environmental Protection Agency, KDI (Municipality Data and In-frastructure) and the Agency for Data Supply and Efficiency are all in-volved via a comprehensive stakeholder involvement track, to ensure synergy and alignment of expectations in relation to other governmen-tal data portals. CSOs, companies, international organisations, working groups: Municipalities, supplies and consulting engineers as well as scientific institutions and Local Government Denmark, KTC (Association of Technical Directors in Danish Local Authorities) and the Danish re-gions are all involved through early ongoing stakeholder involvement which will continue throughout the whole project.

Policy Areas

Access to Information, E-Government, Environment and Climate, Open Data, Public Participation, Public Service Delivery, Water and Sanitation

IRM Review

IRM Report: Denmark Design Report 2019-2021

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

What is the social problem that the commitment will address?
DMI is developing a Climate Atlas to better prepare the Danish munici-palities for the extreme weather conditions of the future. The weather of the future will be extreme and will have a negative impact for many citizens, who risk being exposed to flooding, torrential rainstorms and drought. Decision-makers are giving DMI (who possess expertise and data) the opportunity to develop a Climate Atlas, in dialogue with their users. Climate Atlas presents a cohesive image of the extreme weather of the future, which will equip Denmark to accommodate the consequences of climate change, thus being of benefit to society. The Climate Atlas will contain data about expected future climate change at municipal level and will cover Denmark in its entirety. Mu-nicipalities and other relevant parties will be able to use the common data set to plan appropriate climate adaptation measures, without over or under dimensioning their scope.

What does the commitment entail?
The Climate Atlas has been prepared based on the DMI's own data, international partnerships and knowledge from UN global climate re-ports that are published at frequent intervals. The Climate Atlas can be considered a “crystal ball” for the climate that is able to estimate the state of the climate in the middle and end of the present century. The Climate Atlas provides a collected database about issues such as anticipated future precipitation until groundwater rises to surface level and sea levels until they rise to coastline levels. Current climate parameters (e.g. temperature, precipitation, sea levels and flooding) are calculated and compiled at municipal, watershed and coastal levels, but not at a highly localised scale, such as urban district or landowner associations, as the required precision is not pos-sible. Data will present a qualified estimate of how much water levels are expected to rise, the scale and frequency of flooding, torrential rain and drought.

How will the commitment contrib-ute towards solving the social problem?
The Climate Atlas will help municipalities to consider how climate changes that lie ahead will affect their respective areas. It would for example be a poor investment, if a municipality were to construct dikes that are too low or build them in the wrong locations. The best way to adapt to climate change is therefore to develop solutions based on data from the Climate Atlas, combined with knowledge about the current local situation. The Climate Atlas will be able to quantify the levels involved and indi-cate where the problems will be greatest. A further effect analysis, which includes factors such as water table and drainage, will need to be prepared afterwards, using data from sources such as the Climate Atlas and issues specific to the local area. Used in isolation, the Cli-mate Atlas will not be able to provide information about the impact of water in a given municipality because it does not include a registry of factors such as ground water table, drainage, prevention measures and other local factors. The Climate Atlas will be online in a basic form for municipalities during the autumn of 2019, after which it will be de-veloped and updated on an ongoing basis up until 2021.

Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values?
The commitment ensures the validity of data, an authoritative data set, increases transparency by making data available, improves the quality of the information that is available and increases the public’s ability to access this information. The commitment establishes a joint national data basis for use in measures towards adaptation to climate change, reliable knowledge about the extreme weather conditions we will see in the future, actual estimates for future changes in climate at munici-pal level and access to uniform information across municipal bounda-ries. The commitment also contributes towards informing citizens of the possible consequences of climate change in Denmark, including the need to adapt to the climate in their own immediate environment.

Additional information
The Climate Atlas is financed through FL18 to the sum of DKK 27.2 million over the four-year duration of the project. Read more about the Climate Atlas here: https://www.dmi.dk/klimaatlas/

IRM Midterm Status Summary

3. Climate Atlas

Main Objective

"The Climate Atlas has been prepared based on the DMI's own data, international partnerships and knowledge from UN global climate reports that are published at frequent intervals. The Climate Atlas can be considered a "crystal ball" for the climate that is able to estimate the state of the climate in the middle and end of the present century. The Climate Atlas provides a collected database about issues such as anticipated future precipitation until groundwater rises to surface level and sea levels until they rise to coastline levels.

Current climate parameters (e.g. temperature, precipitation, sea levels and flooding) are calculated and compiled at municipal, watershed and coastal levels, but not at a highly localised scale, such as urban district or landowner associations, as the required precision is not possible. Data will present a qualified estimate of how much water levels are expected to rise, the scale and frequency of flooding, torrential rain and drought." [7]

Milestones

  • Launch of the Climate Atlas in basic form:

Presentation of data for the following climate variables: precipitation, temperature, water table and flooding, and the associated climate indicators.

  • Expansion – phase 1:

Presentation of further climate variables and associated climate indicators, such as wind, evaporation, solar radiation and air humidity, as well as 100-year event and worst-case flooding event.

  • Expansion – phase 2:

All climate variables and indicators to be remodelled using new high-resolution modelling. Data will also be presented as time progressions rather than simple statistical median values for a 30-year period.

Editorial Note: For the complete text of this commitment, please see Denmark's action plan at https://digst.dk/media/21659/ogp-nap-2019-2021-english.pdf, pp. 15-16.

IRM Design Report Assessment

Verifiable:

Yes

Relevant:

Access to Information

Potential impact:

Minor

Commitment Analysis

This commitment seeks to enhance access to climate data through Denmark's "Climate Atlas", a publicly available data portal launched in 2019 on the webpage of the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI). The Climate Atlas currently allows users to access a range of climate data through different 'variables' such as precipitation, temperature, sea levels, and storm surges. [8] According to the action plan, the data on Climate Atlas allows users to estimate changes to the climate up to the end of this century. The Climate Atlas will make climate data available to the public on an ongoing basis, thus making the commitment relevant to the OGP value of access to information. This could give citizens, decision-makers, and other stakeholders improved access and more understanding of the local impacts of climate change.

This commitment calls for expanding the quantity and quality of climate indicators and variables available on the Climate Atlas in two phases until 2021 (following its launch in October 2019). The data will be available in open and free format. According to the action plan, the first phase (Milestone 1) will introduce new and freely available indicators on wind, evaporation, and solar radiation, as well as 100-year events and worst-case flooding events. The second phase will provide users with the option to work with times series of data and allow new insights and correlations. It also calls for improvements to the quality of data on the Climate Atlas, providing users with more detailed analysis (e.g. time progressions) of climate change.

The commitment is a direct contribution to climate adaptation programmes and inter-municipal cooperation on climate change. The Climate Atlas was designed based on substantial stakeholder engagement with public institutions and technical experts, which will continue throughout the project. While citizen participation is not a primary objective of this commitment, there is an emphasis on user-friendliness of the Climate Atlas, with non-experts undertaking usability tests throughout its design phase. However, according to an interviewed DMI representative, the main purpose of the Climate Atlas is to improve the capacity of municipal governments to mitigate the negative effects of climate change locally through data-driven solutions. [9]

By improving the quality and quantity of climate-related data, public institutions, private enterprises, and citizens will get a more informed overview of climate impact locally. In particular, this is expected to benefit municipalities by enriching climate adaptation programmes with local environment data. Through an increase of publicly available climate data, municipalities can become better at designing climate adaptation programmes with the ultimate aim of protecting citizens against local climate-related impact. This is possible with the continuous expansion and enrichment of free climate data at the local level and the ability to track changes over time to understand the potential impact of climate change in the future. The main target group of the Climate Atlas is not ordinary citizens but employers in Danish municipalities who are addressing the local effects of climate change.

[7] Danish Agency for Digitisation, "The Danish OGP National Action Plan 2019–2021," https://digst.dk/media/21659/ogp-nap-2019-2021-english.pdf
[9] Interview with Alan Sørensen, Project Manager at the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI), 23 April 2020.

Commitments

Open Government Partnership