Met Office in the Media: 06 November 2010

Reuters has reported that the Met Office Chief Scientist, Professor Julia Slingo OBE has suggested that the 2 degree Celsius climate target may need to change.   Professor Slingo clearly stated that the the world should keep the 2C target to aid negotiations, but with advances in climate science these targets should always be kept under review, and if necessary adjusted to take into account research into local and regional effects, particularly on rainfall patterns.  This follows publication of the Met Office Science Strategy, that has as one of its aims the desire to provide better local and regional data, especially on rainfall patterns that would enable individual countries to enter negotiations in a more informed, engaged way.

Several papers have reported on our forecasts of the potential for severe weather affecting the UK on Monday, following a settled, but cooler weekend. The Met Office warning says: “An unusually deep area of low pressure will bring a period of severe gales and heavy rain throughout Monday with inland gusts likely to reach 55 to 65mph in places, especially in areas exposed to the south to southeasterly winds. There is a risk of disruption due to falling trees, especially given that some trees are still in leaf.”.   You can keep up to date with the latest weather forecast on our website.

The New York Times has reported (Historic Sea Voyages Buoy Climate Science) on a project by UK Scientists, including the Met Office Hadley Centre to use historical ship logs to gather past climate data. forms a key part of the International ACRE Project, which is recovering past weather and climate data from around the world and bringing them into widespread use. Met Office Hadley Centre scientist Dr Rob Allan, the ACRE project leader said: “Reconstructing past weather from these historical documents will help further our knowledge of weather patterns and climatic changes.”

Nature has reported on how Brazil’s climate modellers are set to go global with the help of the Met Office Hadley Centre. A new supercomputer will drive model to analyse effects of wildfire on world climate and rather than starting from scratch, the Brazilian approach has been to piggyback on the Hadley Centre’s Global Environmental Model (HadGEM2_ES) while adding new features that reflect the complex interactions between the rainforest and the atmosphere above it. The resulting model could be the first to incorporate a detailed treatment of aerosol emissions from fire, enabling UK and Brazilian scientists to probe how the climate system responds to hot plumes carrying black carbon and other chemical compounds produced by fires in the Amazon and around the world.

“It is a tremendously exciting step forward,” says Richard Betts, who heads climate-impact modelling at the Hadley Centre. The IPCC’s fifth assessment includes a systematic analysis of various land-use scenarios that will allow scientists to explore the interactions between vegetation and climate, says Betts, and fire plays an important role.

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