High Resolution Global Climate Modelling

Developing global models at the highest possible resolutions in order to better represent important small-scale processes in the atmosphere and ocean.

The High Resolution Global Climate Modelling group both develops and analyses a hierarchy of model resolutions (ranging from 130km to 25km in the atmosphere, and 1 degree to ¼ degree in the ocean) based on the HadGEM3 configuration of the Unified Model. We examine how improved representation of small scale processes in the atmosphere and ocean (such as atmospheric weather phenomena including mid-latitude storms and tropical cyclones, and ocean eddies) influence the large-scale mean state, variability and extremes of the simulated climate; such results might have important consequences for predictions of future climate change.

The group forms part of the Joint Weather and Climate Research Programme (JWCRP) High Resolution Climate Modelling project, and has strong links with both Met Office and NERC scientists.

Key aims

  • Improving understanding and modelling of small-scale processes in the atmosphere and ocean
  • Understanding of how these processes affect the simulated mean-state climate, climate variability and extremes
  • Understanding the drivers of tropical cyclone interannual variability

Current project

  • Assessment of tropical cyclone performance in the hierarchy of atmosphere model resolutions, including interannual variability, genesis position and path of storms, for a variety of ocean basins, including the South Indian Ocean (as part of work to understand and improve the simulation of African climate).
  • Development of the 25km atmosphere model as part of JWCRP collaboration with NCAS-Climate.
  • Analysis of processes in the Southern Ocean in the coupled climate model, to understand why biases increase when using a higher resolution ocean model.

Last updated: 29 July 2014