Overview of research by our Chief Scientist

The Met Office is a science-led organisation and our success in weather forecasting and climate prediction depends, critically, on having a world-class research programme.

Over the last decade or so, predicting the weather and climate has emerged as one of the most important areas of scientific endeavour. This is partly because climate change is now widely accepted and there is a rapidly increasing realisation that it will affect every person in the world profoundly - either directly or indirectly. It is also partly because the remarkable increase in skill of current weather forecasts has made society more and more dependent on them, from day-to-day, for a whole range of decision-making.

The challenge for those involved in research at the Met Office is to remain at the cutting edge of modelling and predicting the evolution of the atmosphere, oceans and fully coupled climate system. We need be at the cutting edge so we can provide an increasingly accurate and reliable service across all sectors that are vulnerable to the effects of adverse weather, ocean and climatic conditions - now or in the future. Our research has to span an ever-increasing range of science disciplines - from fundamental atmospheric physics to ecosystem behaviour.  

Research collaboration will be essential for delivering the predictive capability that the Met Office will require in the coming decade, if we are to deliver a world-class weather and climate service. Our role as an integrator and facilitator of weather and climate modelling, research and prediction - within the UK academic sector and, increasingly, at an international level - is very important to us. The Joint Weather and Climate Research Programme with the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) is already an integral part of our research programme. Going forward, building stronger partnerships is at the core of our science strategy, and this section of our website is a vital part of communicating our science to those who work alongside us.

Science Strategy

Our science strategy for 2016-2021: Science strategy 2016-2021 Science strategy 2016-2021 (PDF, 8 MB)

Last updated: 25 April 2016

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Science areas

  • Weather science

    Weather Science provides the forecasting capabilities that are used for routine operational short to medium range forecasting of the weather, the oceans and their impacts.

  • Climate science

    Climate Science provides the science capabilities to meet the requirements of a number of government and business customers.

  • Foundation science

    Foundation Science provides the underpinning science and model development critical to both weather and climate prediction.

  • Applied science

    Applied Science and Scientific Consultancy harnesses our expertise in weather and climate science to deliver customer focused products, services and consultancy.