Avoiding the impacts of climate change
How can we avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate change? This is one of the key questions the Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme is helping to answer.
In the 2015 ‘Paris Agreement’, countries committed to limiting global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. They will also pursue efforts to limit this to 1.5°C. Some warming is inevitable due to historical emissions. The amount of further warming we could avoid depends on our ability to cut emissions. To achieve this, we need to calculate how much carbon is left to emit under these limits. We must also understand which actions are most effective at minimising future emissions.
Some of the key questions we are trying to answer are:
What global carbon budgets and emission pathways are compatible with different levels of warming?
What is the required scale and rate of emissions reduction needed to stay below these levels?
When do we need to deliver net zero emissions by within these targets?
What is the effect of delaying mitigation actions?
What are the consequences if we overshoot temperatures? What will the physical impacts be and is there potential for irreversible changes?
How do we answer these questions?
We produce a range of deliverables to help answer this question. Our verbal and written advice includes briefings, reports, expert reviews, model development, and website content.
Here are some of the main things we deliver:
Support for UNFCCC COP
Each year, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) holds an annual action summit on climate change, the Conference of the Parties (COP) meeting. Delegates from around the world come together to discuss the science of climate change. They lay out their own countries’ plans and ambitions to meet climate targets and explore possible solutions. The Met Office provides support to this important conference.
- Read more about how the Met Office contributes to COP
The Met Office website
We update the climate science pages of Met Office website. This includes a central resource that ties together information on extreme weather events.
Thresholds and tipping points
We provide updated assessments of tipping points and thresholds in the climate system.
Risk management of climate thresholds and feedbacks:
Updates to climate models
UKESM1 and HadGEM3-GC3.1 are two state-of-the-art climate models. We use these to study the Earth-system and climate. They are both the result of years of work, featuring a host of advances over previous models.
- Read more about UKESM1 and HadGEM3-GC3.1
Research from the Met Office Hadley Centre
Scientists at the Met Office Hadley Centre also publish papers in leading scientific journals. The team collaborates with other institutes from around the world.
Names in bold are lead authors from the Met Office.
- Forster et al. Current and future global climate impacts resulting from COVID-19
- Myhre et al. Cloudy-sky contributions to the direct aerosol effect
- Jones and Friedlingstein. Quantifying process-level uncertainty contributions to TCRE and carbon budgets for meeting Paris Agreement climate targets
- Simmonds et al. The increasing atmospheric burden of the greenhouse gas sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)
- Ming et al. Stratospheric Ozone Changes From Explosive Tropical Volcanoes: Modeling and Ice Core Constraints
- MacDougall et al. Is there warming in the pipeline? A multi-model analysis of the Zero Emissions Commitment from CO2
- Sellar et al. Implementation of UK Earth System Models for CMIP6
- Yoshimori et al. Fixed Anvil Temperature Feedback: Positive, Zero, or Negative?
- Archibald et al. Description and evaluation of the UKCA stratosphere-troposphere chemistry scheme (StratTrop vn 1.0) implemented in UKESM1
- Bellouin et al. Bounding Global Aerosol Radiative Forcing of Climate Change
- Juckes et al. The CMIP6 Data Request (DREQ, version 01.00.31)
- Ganesan et al. Advancing Scientific Understanding of the Global Methane Budget in Support of the Paris Agreement
- Sellar et al. UKESM1: Description and Evaluation of the UK Earth System Model
- Andrews et al. Forcings, Feedbacks, and Climate Sensitivity in HadGEM3-GC3.1 and UKESM1
- Richardson et al. Efficacy of Climate Forcings in PDRMIP Models
- Rugenstein et al. LongRunMIP: Motivation and Design for a Large Collection of Millennial-Length AOGCM Simulations
- Yoshioka et al. Ensembles of Global Climate Model Variants Designed for the Quantification and Constraint of Uncertainty in Aerosols and Their Radiative Forcing
- Jones et al. The Zero Emissions Commitment Model Intercomparison Project (ZECMIP) contribution to C4MIP: quantifying committed climate changes following zero carbon emissions
- Johnson et al. Are Changes in Atmospheric Circulation Important for Black Carbon Aerosol Impacts on Clouds, Precipitation, and Radiation?
- Harari et al. Influence of Arctic stratospheric ozone on surface climate in CCMI models
- Kelly et al. The roles of volatile organic compound deposition and oxidation mechanisms in determining secondary organic aerosol production: a global perspective using the UKCA chemistry-climate model (vn8.4)
- Bodas-Salcedo et al. Strong Dependence of Atmospheric Feedbacks on Mixed-Phase Microphysics and Aerosol-Cloud Interactions in HadGEM3
- Vanniere et al. Multi-model evaluation of the sensitivity of the global energy budget and hydrological cycle to resolution
- Turnock et al. The Impact of Changes in Cloud Water pH on Aerosol Radiative Forcing
- Brophy et al. Characterizing uncertainties in atmospheric inversions of fossil fuel CO2 emissions in California
- Menary et al. Preindustrial Control Simulations With HadGEM3-GC3.1 for CMIP6
- Bastos et al. Impact of the 2015/2016 El Nino on the terrestrial carbon cycle constrained by bottom-up and top-down approaches
- Betts et al. A successful prediction of the record CO2 rise associated with the 2015/2016 El Nino
- Smith et al. Understanding Rapid Adjustments to Diverse Forcing Agents
- Kuhlbrodt et al. The Low-Resolution Version of HadGEM3 GC3.1: Development and Evaluation for Global Climate
- Gasser et al. Path-dependent reductions in CO2 emission budgets caused by permafrost carbon release
- Hawcroft et al. The contrasting climate response to tropical and extratropical energy perturbations
- Schurer et al. Estimating the Transient Climate Response from Observed Warming
- Gallego-Sala et al. Latitudinal limits to the predicted increase of the peatland carbon sink with warming
- Grassi et al. Reconciling global-model estimates and country reporting of anthropogenic forest CO2 sinks
- Pugh et al. A Large Committed Long-Term Sink of Carbon due to Vegetation Dynamics
- Lawrence et al. Evaluating climate geoengineering proposals in the context of the Paris Agreement temperature goals
- Hyder et al. Critical Southern Ocean climate model biases traced to atmospheric model cloud errors
- Johnson et al. The importance of comprehensive parameter sampling and multiple observations for robust constraint of aerosol radiative forcing
- Andrews et al. Accounting for Changing Temperature Patterns Increases Historical Estimates of Climate Sensitivity
- Harper et al. Land-use emissions play a critical role in landbased mitigation for Paris climate targets
- Comyn-Platt et al. Carbon budgets for 1.5 and 2 degrees C targets lowered by natural wetland and permafrost feedbacks
- Yang et al. Uncertainty Quantification of Extratropical Forest Biomass in CMIP5 Models over the Northern Hemisphere
- Regayre et al. Aerosol and physical atmosphere model parameters are both important sources of uncertainty in aerosol ERF
- Oliver et al. Large but decreasing effect of ozone on the European carbon sink
- Harper et al. Vegetation distribution and terrestrial carbon cycle in a carbon cycle configuration of JULES4.6 with new plant functional types
- Hill et al. Quantifying the Contribution of Different Cloud Types to the Radiation Budget in Southern West Africa
- Jones et al. Can reducing black carbon and methane below RCP2.6 levels keep global warming below 1.5 degrees C?
- Kondo et al. Plant Regrowth as a Driver of Recent Enhancement of Terrestrial CO2 Uptake
- Kelly et al. The impact of biogenic, anthropogenic, and biomass burning volatile organic compound emissions on regional and seasonal variations in secondary organic aerosol
- Goosse et al. Quantifying climate feedbacks in polar regions
- Lowe and Bernie. The impact of Earth system feedbacks on carbon budgets and climate response
- Ganesan et al. Spatially Resolved Isotopic Source Signatures of Wetland Methane Emissions
- Bodas-Salcedo. Cloud Condensate and Radiative Feedbacks at Midlatitudes in an Aquaplanet
- Pongratz et al. Models meet data: Challenges and opportunities in implementing land management in Earth system models
- Menary and Wood. An anatomy of the projected North Atlantic warming hole in CMIP5 models