'Bridging the gap between weather forecasts and climate change projections'

Biosciences 301
Lectures Talks and Workshops, Life and Environmental Sciences, Research
Tuesday 10th January 2017 (13:00-14:00)
Download the date to your calendar (.ics file)

Part of the School Seminar Series

Speaker: Professor Adam Scaife, Met. Office Hadley Centre, Exeter

Hosts: Gregor Leckebusch

Weather forecasts and climate projections have matured scientifically to the point where they now deliver a multitude of regular services but the availability of skilful predictions for the timescale in between, from months to a few years ahead, is much more limited.  Nevertheless, there would be great benefit to society if skilful predictions were possible, as many government and private business users assess risk and make plans on this timescale. 

While long range predictability of the tropics has been established for many years, studies have suggested that  it may not be possible to provide anything more than a broad rang of plausible impending climate states for many other regions due to the apparent dominance of internal and unpredictable climate variability.  Here we show recent seasonal and decadal prediction results from the Met Office Hadley Centre.  Unlike climate projections which rely only on boundary forcing, or weather forecasts which rely only on initial conditions, these predictions are made using a new state-of-the-art high resolution climate model which is both forced with boundary conditions (e.g. greenhouse gases) and initialised with latest observations (in the atmosphere, ocean and land surface). 

Significant and potentially useful levels of prediction skill are demonstrated, even for the extratropics in some seasons.  We describe some of the predictable factors and mechanisms by which this comes about and describe some of the emerging services that will help to bridge the gap between future weather and climate services.