Climate impacts scientist Gillian Kay spent six months working alongside scientists in Brazil to uncover the implications of climate change on the South American country.
Little research is currently available on how changes in the climate, such as changes in temperature and rainfall, may play out across the region, on a finer scale.
In her diary Gillian charted the ups and downs of being a Met Office scientist abroad.
Gillian's job included:
Providing advice related to managing and communicating uncertainties in climate change projections.
Supplying appropriate data to the Brazilian scientists to enable them to run their regional climate model, named Eta.
Working with the scientists to learn about key components of the climate over South America and examining how these are simulated by the climate models.
Dangerous Climate Change in Brazil is a Foreign and Commonwealth Office project, financed through the Strategic Programme Fund and aims to:
build capacity for state-of-the-art climate change prediction in Brazil;
raise awareness among key stakeholders — research scientists and policymakers — about the effects of climate change in Brazil;
empower policymakers with scientific evidence.
As part of this project, there was an exchange of scientists between the Met Office Hadley Centre and the CPTEC/INPE (Centre for weather forecasting and climate studies/National Centre for Space Research) in Brazil.
Brazilian scientist Lincoln Alves visited the Met Office in 2007 and, in June 2008, Gillian Kay started work in Cachoeira Paulista, São Paulo state.
Brazilian scientists can generate projections of climate change using their regional climate model, on a much finer, spatial scale than is provided by the global models.
Quantification of uncertainty in projections of climate change over Brazil.
Analysis of current and future behaviour of important features of the regional climate, simulated by the regional model, which are potentially significant for future access to, and management of, water resources.
Development of the Hadley Centre regional climate model to include dynamic vegetation. Allowing the potential effects of climate change on the land cover of Brazil (including the Amazon forest) to be investigated within the model. It also allows that vegetation to interact with, to 'feed back' on, regional climate.
Communication/presentation of potential effects of climate change in Brazil to stakeholders.
"Collaboration and research of this kind is a very fruitful venture, as Met Office involvement in Brazil enhances modelling capacity there, while local expertise informs the development of our earth system models, moving our knowledge about climate change forward."