An external view of the Met Office building at night.

Carol McSweeney

Areas of expertise

  • Regional climate prediction for developing countries
  • Assessing reliability of climate model simulations
  • The spatial and temporal characteristics of rainfall variability and extremes

Current activities

Carol's work aims to facilitate and develop the use of the Met Office Hadley Centre's regional climate model, PRECIS, in developing regions of the world. Carol works on underpinning climate science that furthers our understanding of the uncertainties associated with regional climate model projections. This helps to inform and guide the use of this information in climate impact assessments and adaptation planning.

A key element of Carol's work is to support PRECIS users around the world by providing training and ongoing scientific support; She has recently been involved with PRECIS user workshops in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. Similar workshops in various developing regions of the world have provided local scientists with the skills and software to generate, analyse and interpret high-resolution climate change scenarios.

Carol also works on ongoing collaborations between the Hadley Centre and PRECIS users around the world, which allow us to support and develop increasingly advanced approaches to, and applications of, regional modelling. She is currently exploring multi-model general circulation model simulations over south-east Asia in order to select sub-sets of those models for downscaling that represent the most skilful models, as well as those which span a similar range of climate change outcomes as the full ensemble. This approach will allow climate modelling centres to generate high-resolution regional scenarios which span a representative range of uncertainty whilst minimising the computational resources required.

Career background

Carol joined the regional modelling team at the Met Office Hadley Centre in 2009. Prior to this, Carol had worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Oxford University's School of Geography and Environment, where she worked on several projects concerned with using climate model information in developing countries and the construction and analysis of gridded observational climate data. Carol studied for both her MSc and PhD in climate change at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit, Norwich.