Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme

Certain extreme weather events have become more  likely to happen since the recent onset of climate change

The Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme delivers world-leading scientific evidence on climate variability and change to meet the needs of UK Government.

The Programme enables the Met Office to play a leading role in the UK's national climate capability and ensures that we have the information needed to navigate the risks and opportunities presented by changes in the climate.

The achievements of the current three-year plan, that begun in 2012, already include an Arctic sea-ice cover assessment, studies of climate change and extreme seasons around the world, new information about climate change and the decline of tropical forests, and improved methods for projections of European climate with higher resolution.

The Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme's ongoing scientific research work includes:

  • Causes of recent trends in warming;
  • Resilience of key systems - such as the Arctic and Amazon - to changes in climate;
  • Developing a world-leading Earth system model to include and improve important processes such as the nitrogen cycle, glacier melt and permafrost;
  • Understanding how human activity is impacting the risk of extreme weather, including a near real-time assessment of events;
  • Providing long-term datasets and climate models to support decision-making on renewable energy deployment - from wind to wave, now and in the future.

The Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme is supported by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).  Their £50m investment provides the core science on which Government can make decisions to help the UK become resilient to climate variability and change, benefit from opportunities for growth, and engage in international climate negotiations.  For example, research findings from the programme help ensure cost-effective deployment of renewable energy, and a resilient future for the nation's infrastructure.

World-leading science

"Over the coming decades it is vital that we understand what risks and opportunities climate change may bring. The Met Office Hadley Centre is central to the UK's national climate capability.  My department has committed to supporting its Climate Programme, which underpins policy at home and on the international stage and is increasingly useful across Government."   
Gregory Barker MP, Minister of State for Climate Change, DECC

 "The world-class research of the Met Office Hadley Centre has established the UK as a real authority in understanding the challenges of climate change.
This research programme will ensure the Hadley Centre continues to provide us with the cutting edge evidence we need as we develop plans to prepare the UK for a changing climate. "
Lord Taylor of Holbeach, (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Defra, 2011-2012)

Based in Exeter, the Met Office Hadley Centre delivers policy-focused research results by collating and managing global observations, developing computer models of the Earth's climate system, and analysing climate patterns. Science teams conduct this research with the benefit of access to the Met Office's supercomputer facilities and weather modelling capabilities. To produce the highest quality science, contribute most effectively to the national climate capability and extend the range of policy-relevant research it can conduct, the scientists work in partnership with UK, EU and other international institutions.

Policy-focused research

"The national climate capability has created a solid base for a more strategic and coordinated approach to procuring evidence across government.  My job is to help ensure that the Climate Programme improves communication and interpretation of evidence and advice to government departments and agencies. A key part of this is working with partners to ensure that we take opportunities to make the most of the Government's investment in climate science; and that we use this world-leading capability to provide the support needed to enable society to thrive and prosper in a changing climate."
Dr Kirstine Dale, Head of Climate Programmes for Government, Met Office

Last updated: 2 October 2013