Dr Doug Smith

Doug leads the decadal climate prediction research and development at the Met Office Hadley Centre.

Current activities

Decadal prediction is a relatively new area of climate science, aiming to provide guidance for adaptation and mitigation strategies for the coming years to a couple of decades. On these timescales, both natural variability and anthropogenically forced changes must be taken into account. This is achieved using the Met Office Decadal Climate Prediction System DePreSys. By starting from the observed state of the atmosphere and ocean DePreSys has the potential to predict natural internal variability in addition to the forced response to plausible changes in anthropogenic sources of greenhouse gases and aerosol concentrations, and projected changes in solar irradiance and volcanic aerosol. Experimental decadal forecasts, and verification of previous forecasts, can be found on the long-range predictions web page.

The IPCC included a focus on decadal predictions in the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). As input to this, the Met Office generated decadal prediction experiments following the CMIP5 protocol. Additional high resolution experiments using HiGEM were generated in collaboration with NERC.

Other activities have included:

  • assessing skill in existing hindcasts from the EU ENSEMBLES and SPECS projects;

  • assessing the predictability of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation as part of the EU THOR project and the NERC VALOR and DYNAMOC projects;

  • assessing the impact of different observations, including Argo profiling floats through the EU Euro-Argo project and the RAPID MOC monitoring array through the NERC VALOR projects;

  • building a seamless monthly to decadal prediction system based on HadGEM3, including the investigation of different assimilation approaches within the EU COMBINE project;

  • coordinating an annual Multi-model decadal forecast exchange of decadal predictions.

Career background

Since joining the Met Office in 1997 Doug has developed the Met Office Decadal Climate Prediction System DePreSys, leading the decadal prediction team since 2008. Before that, Doug worked on satellite remote sensing of sea ice and rainfall at University College London and the University of Bristol. Doug obtained a BSc in Mechanical Engineering, and a PhD in computational fluid dynamics from Imperial College London.

External recognition

Last updated: 20 March 2015

About Doug Smith

Doug Smith

Doug leads research and development into decadal climate prediction.

Areas of expertise

  • monthly to decadal climate prediction and variability;

  • assimilation of observations for the initialisation of climate models;

  • analysis of sub-surface ocean observations;

  • ocean-atmosphere interactions;

  • assessment of forecast skill, including extremes of temperature and precipitation, and Atlantic hurricanes.

My Publications - Smith, D