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Informatics Lab

The Informatics Lab brings together engineers, scientists, technologists and designers to embed (and help embedding) data science in the Met Office weather and climate science and services.

The team supports the ‘Fusing simulations with data sciences’ theme of the Met Office Research and Innovation Strategy, as well as being responsible for the delivery of the Met Office Data Science Framework.

The Informatics Lab is also part of the Joint Centre for Excellence in Environmental Intelligence (JCEEI), a partnership between the Met Office and the University of Exeter with the goal of pioneering the development of Environmental Intelligence.

Work and teams

Our work is articulated around the three pillars of the Data Science FrameworkCapabilities, People and Partners — and the four priority capabilities therein:

  • Discovery and attribution: data mining to extract and understand information; causal analysis and discovery to test, quantify and discover causal relationships.
  • Fusing simulation with data science: substituting components of numerical weather prediction and climate models to reduce model run-times and/or improve accuracy.
  • Uncertainty and trust: explainable, interpretable and trustworthy artificial intelligence to understand predictions (and associated uncertainty) of data-driven machine learning methods.
  • Data to decisions: improving output from numerical weather prediction and climate models, combining this with user-specific metrics, and delivering insights through new interfaces to improve decision-making.

The Informatics Lab comprises three multidisciplinary teams:

  • Data science research
  • Research to applications
  • Infrastructure and data engineering research

Data science research

The team works with colleagues across the Met Office and through external partnerships to bring the benefits of machine learning and artificial intelligence to every stage of the Met Office value chain. The team does this by developing new methodologies, applying proven existing tools and techniques, and investing in people through training and skills development.

Research to applications

The team sits both in the Informatics Lab and the JCEEI, and focuses on utilising data science (in particular machine learning, artificial intelligence and data visualisation) to transform our understanding of a changing environment and to find solutions to the challenges that it presents. The team’s work aligns with the focus areas of the JCEEI, such as climate change, air quality, health, energy, extreme weather events.

Infrastructure and data engineering research

The team sits both in the Informatics Lab and the JCEEI. It provides the underpinning technical frameworks and leads the development of scalable cloud infrastructure for the deployment of cutting-edge environmental intelligence capabilities to facilitate the delivery of the JCEEI priorities.