atmosphere - exploring climate science
28 February 2011
The Met Office was a major contributor to the Science Museum's new climate science exhibition, 'atmosphere: exploring climate science' which opened in December 2010.
It was British physicist John Tyndall (1820-93) who discovered the link between greenhouse gases and global warming. He's also known for making physics accessible to the public in lectures and best-selling books. But perhaps what's most surprising is that the scientific terms 'greenhouse gases' and 'global warming' are so much part of today's vocabulary they hardly need explanation at all.
Taking a leaf out of Tyndall's book, the Science Museum's new exhibition, 'atmosphere: exploring climate science' presents information on climate science for everyone, no matter what their level of prior knowledge. Tyndall and other luminaries, past and present, get a mention among the exhibits, which include an immersive 'gallery world' with its own atmosphere and landscapes that imitate the Earth's complex system as they respond to
Bringing the science up to date, the exhibition explores methods used by today's climate scientists, such as those at the Met Office, to assess what's happening to the climate now and what the future may hold.
Opened by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, the exhibition aims to deepen museum visitors' understanding of climate science in an enjoyable, engaging and memorable way. The exhibition includes interactive exhibits and a variety of objects to explain how the climate system works, to show how scientists study the climate system, and to summarise the current state of knowledge about our climate.
The Science Museum worked closely with the Met Office in putting 'atmosphere' together. Met Office scientists provided in-depth information on how climate change is observed and modelled; projected temperature rises, and the impact of these rises. The innovative partnership involved Met Office scientists acting as expert advisers for the exhibition's content.
Exploring the ideas behind climate change, 'atmosphere' explains what is happening to the planet and the possible consequences of changes to its temperature. The gallery is divided into five zones focusing on different areas of climate science through interactive displays, key instruments used by researchers and reports on some of the latest news about the subject.
Professor Julia Slingo, Met Office Chief Scientist, said: "Met Office scientists are playing leading roles in formulating expert evidence on past and future climate change to international bodies such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and across all sectors of UK Government and business. We're delighted to have contributed to this exciting new gallery bringing climate science to life. Visitors will be able to see how our climate is changing; understand what's driving these changes, and how these affect our planet - now and in the future.
- Read more about the atmosphere exhibition