The Met Office is joining forces with two more leading UK universities to tackle the key research challenges related to weather prediction and a changing climate.
The Met Office Academic Partnership (MOAP) is a cluster of research excellence that brings together the Met Office and leading UK Universities in weather and climate science, to advance the science and skill of weather and climate prediction. The Met Office and Universities of Exeter, Leeds, Oxford and Reading are delighted to welcome the University of Bristol and University College London to MOAP, and look forward to working together as an expanded, more diverse and more powerful partnership.
Professor Stephen Belcher, Met Office Chief Scientist, said “I am delighted that UCL and University of Bristol are to join the Met Office Academic Partnership. They bring a wealth of talent and expertise to this thriving partnership that will ensure the Met Office delivers its research and innovation strategy and improves weather and climate science and services.”
More than 1000 scientific papers have been co-authored by MOAP with key scientific developments delivered through collaborations between MOAP scientists. However, over the last decade since MOAP was established, the nature of the science we undertake has changed. The Met Office is embracing machine learning and data sciences in its research and seeking to understand how weather and climate–related hazards impact our day-to-day lives and decisions. This increasing complexity has driven the expansion of MOAP.
People are key to the success of the MOAP and the partnership invests in the role of a Joint Chair at each partner University to provide scientific leadership. Dr Dann Mitchell, Met Office Joint Chair at the University of Bristol is an expert in climate dynamics and impacts. Dr Mitchell said: “When I applied for my University of Bristol faculty position I wrote in my cover letter that I’d be keen to push for an academic partnership with the Met Office, and 3 years later I’m delighted that I was able to be part of the team that did that. Some of my best research has been done through working closely with Met Office scientists over the years, and I’m looking forward to linking up other academics at Bristol with this fantastic research centre.”
Professor Serge Guillas is an environmental statistician and the new Met Office Joint Chair at UCL. Professor Guillas said: “I feel very privileged that an exceptional team of data scientists, machine learners, mathematicians and environmental scientists at UCL are enthusiastically collaborating with the Met Office. The fields of data science and machine learning have recently matured to a point where this partnership will concretely transform the way we understand and model weather and climate and their impacts, for instance by fusing rich sets of observations with simulations or providing new ways of quantifying uncertainties in climate predictions.”