Prof Adam Scaife

Areas of expertise

  • Climate variability and prediction from months to decades.

  • Global circulation, teleconnections and stratosphere-troposphere interaction.

  • Atmospheric waves and wave-mean flow interaction.

  • Climate model development.

My Publications - Scaife, A

Current activities

Adam is head of Monthly to Decadal Prediction which includes the research, production and issuing of our climate predictions from months to a few years ahead. These ensemble climate predictions and the research behind them helps contingency planners in the UK and abroad to deal with impending climate variability and change.

Adam's personal research is focused on climate variability and computer modelling of the climate. He has published around 200 peer reviewed articles on climate variability, simulation and prediction using physically based computer models and is recognised internationally as a highly cited researcher.  He recently made important breakthroughs with his colleagues in long range forecasting, uncovering a so-called ‘signal to noise paradox’ that makes current climate models better at predicting aspects of the real world than they are at predicting their own simulations.

Career background

Adam has led the Monthly to Decadal Prediction Group since 2008 and has over 25 years of experience in climate modelling and climate prediction. His recent studies show significant predictability for the North Atlantic Oscillation, the winter weather in the UK and the wider European region. They also show that significant predictability beyond the range of weather forecasts originates in the tropics and the stratosphere. His work also helps to clarify what adds to climate change to cause year to year and longer term changes in European climate.

Adam has worked on developing our climate models, including reduction of some of the major errors in computer simulations of the atmosphere: for example reducing the errors in atmospheric 'blocking' and simulating the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation using parameterised gravity waves for the first time in our model. Adam has played a leading role in international projects and scientific steering groups and his key contributions have been recognised by a number of external awards.

External recognition