Broken icebergs in the ocean

Future weather and climate risks

Our climate has already warmed by around 1°C since the 1850s, and we expect further warming in the future.

Some warming is already inevitable due to historical emissions. The amount of further warming we could avoid depends on our ability to cut emissions. This means there are a range of different possible pathways of warming.

Some of the key questions we are trying to answer are:

  • How will weather and climate evolve over the next century in different parts of the world and under different climate scenarios?
  • How will climate change affect extreme weather events? This question considers:
    • Geographical location
    • Duration
    • Frequency
    • Intensity
  • What are the risks and impacts of climate variability and change? We look at this question on both a global and UK scale. We also consider a range of timescales, looking to the end of the century and beyond.

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:

UK Climate Projections (UKCP)

The UK Climate Projections (UKCP) provides the most up-to-date assessment of how the climate of the UK may change over the 21st century.

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.

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.

Near-term prediction

We provide annual and decadal temperature forecasts. The latter includes the risk of exceeding 1.5°C warming above pre-industrial levels.

Thresholds and tipping points

We provide updated assessments of tipping points and thresholds in the climate system.

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.

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.

2020 papers

2019 papers

2018 papers