Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme

The impacts of climate change are already clear, both in the UK and worldwide.

These impacts include:

  • Raised temperatures
  • Changes in extreme weather
  • Melting snow and ice
  • Rising sea levels

The Paris Agreement, signed in 2015, marked a turning point in climate negotiations. 195 governments agreed to take global action to tackle climate change.

The second UK Climate Change Risk Assessment was published in 2017. It identified significant threats to the UK from climate change. Therefore, the evidence needed by the UK Government has changed. Instead of proving climate change is happening, we need to understand the nature of this change.

We need robust, impartial and targeted climate science to manage the risks of climate change. It's important to find opportunities, trade-offs or co-benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We refer to this as 'mitigation'. Meanwhile, we need to consider adapting to changes we cannot avoid, known as 'adaptation'.

What does the Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme do?

The Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme undertakes scientifically excellent research. Our research benefits UK climate science and develops the core UK climate science infrastructure.

The programme serves the UK Government by providing policy-relevant scientific evidence and advice.

The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) support the MOHCCP. 

The MOHCCP builds on successful developments from previous programmes. This includes:

  • New techniques for attribution of extreme weather events
  • HadGEM3, a new physical climate model
  • UKESM1, a new Earth System Model

By using high performance computing, the programme will:

  • Advance the prediction and projection of regional climate change, with greater focus on climate-induced risks.
  • Provide authoritative advice on the benefits of achieving (or the risks of missing) temperature goals. The Paris Climate Agreement committed to limit warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels. There is a further aim to limit warming to 1.5°C.
  • Develop prediction and monitoring systems for the rapid delivery of advice to Government. This advice is critical before, during and in the aftermath of extreme climatic events, which affect the UK and other regions of the world.

Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme key questions

There are four key questions that the UK Government has agreed the climate science community need to answer over the next five years and beyond.

1. Current weather and climate risks

  • What are the current weather and climate risks in the UK and globally?

2. Future weather and climate risks

  • What are the future risks we face from weather and climate, under a range of possible scenarios?

3. Avoiding the impacts of climate change

  • How can we avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate change?

4. Different amounts of future warming

  • What are the impacts and opportunities of limiting warming to different warming targets?

The 2018-21 work plan focuses on the four questions. The Met Office Hadley Centre will play a vital role in answering them, working with national and international partners.