Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme

The Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme (MOHCCP) plays a vital role in providing relevant scientific evidence for UK government. This evidence supports climate action and helps avoid the worst impacts of climate change for future generations.

MOHCCP supports UK government and policy decision makers to address the societal challenges of climate change, helping us build a more resilient, net-zero future.

Climate change evidence

The effects of climate change are already clear, both here in the UK and across the world.

Some of these effects include:

  • Warming of land, ocean, and atmosphere
  • Increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events
  • Melting snow and ice
  • Rising sea levels

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports

The latest assessments from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) show that warming of the climate system is unequivocal. Human activities are the dominant cause of warming since the mid-20th century.

The 3rd Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA3) Government Report

In June 2021, the UK’s independent adviser, the Climate Change Committee (CCC), published their Independent Assessment of UK Climate Risk. The report looks at the priority climate change risks and opportunities in the UK, alongside statutory adaptation advice for UK government.

The government will consider the report and the CCC’s advice, issuing their response in the 3rd Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA3) Government Report in early 2022. CCRA3 will mark the end of the CCRA cycle and inform development of the next National Adaptation Programme.

The Paris Agreement and climate negotiations

The Paris Agreement, signed in 2015, was a turning point in international climate negotiations. Almost every country agreed to take collective global action to tackle climate change.

Under the Paris Agreement, countries have committed to limit global warming to 2 °C above pre-industrial averages. The countries also agree to:

  • if possible, limit warming to 1.5 °C
  • increase measures to adapt to climate change
  • provide enhanced support to developing countries.

Climate change science

Because of these reports, the Paris Agreement, and the UK’s legally binding target of net zero emissions by 2050, the government’s needs from climate science have changed.

The evidence of climate change is now clear. With climate change unequivocal, we now need to understand the nature, magnitude and rate of change, and what this means for individuals.

What does the Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme do?

The Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme undertakes scientifically excellent research, providing the UK government with timely and policy-relevant scientific evidence and advice. Our research benefits UK climate science and develops the core UK climate science infrastructure.

We have significant collaborations with academic partners in the UK and internationally. MOHCCP research also contributes to major international climate science initiatives, such as IPCC reports.

The Department of Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) supports the MOHCCP.

Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme key questions

There are four key questions that the UK Government has agreed the climate science community needs 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 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?

Climate Programme for 2021 and beyond

The MOHCCP will build on the success of previous programmes and reflect the changing demands of climate science.

The new programme will:

  • Move away from proving that climate change is happening and predictable. Instead, it will focus on monitoring and understanding weather and climate hazards, supporting decision makers to manage current and future risks.
  • Inform the development of strategies for lowering greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate change.
  • Assess the risk of abrupt, potentially irreversible, Earth system changes (including tipping points).
  • Detail how global warming translates into local-scale changes in future climate projections. This will focus on weather and climate extremes, such as windstorms, heat waves, and coastal and inland flooding events.

The programme also has the flexibility to adapt to changes in the climate science environment. For example, the programme may need to address potential changes in scientific direction because of the COVID-19 pandemic and its global impacts.

Supercomputer capacity for the Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme

In 2022, the new supercomputer infrastructure will provide greater capacity and performance, supporting our weather and climate operations and research.

The new supercomputer capability will help realise the full potential of the Met Office’s global expertise in climate science. It will help ensure government, industry and communities are better prepared for a changing climate.

The benefits of our supercomputer capability include:

  • Enhanced climate monitoring capability of greenhouse gases, and attributing climate changes to causes.
  • Monitoring of key climate indicators, including past, present and early warning of future changes.
  • Improved quantification of global carbon budgets to assess feasibility of pathways, in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement.
  • Advanced seasonal to decadal predictions to aid risk-based decision making and planning.
  • Revised climate projections to inform mitigation and adaptation planning.
  • Impact-based projections for climate resilient pathways, which will inform government policy as part of the UK’s fight against climate change, and its efforts to reach net zero by 2050.
  • Core infrastructure contributing to the National Climate Capability, making data and knowledge more accessible, relevant and usable for policy makers and planners.