Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Targeted investments in climate science could present enormous economic savings for UK and Europe

21.08.2009
A joint press release issued by the UK's National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) and the Walker Institute, University of Reading

Targeted investments in climate science could lead to major benefits in reducing the costs of adapting to a changing climate, according to new research published by scientists from the UK's National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS). Published in the scientific journal, the Bulletin for the American Meteorological Society, the study shows that investments made now, can lead to as much as 10-20% improvement in climate predictions for the UK and Europe in the coming decades, and up to 20% across the rest of the globe.

This is good news for businesses and policy-makers currently seeking predictions to aid planning for adaptation to climate change in the coming years, and for whom such improvements could present enormous economic savings: uncertainty in climate forecasts means that adaptation measures have to be designed with greater resilience, making them more expensive.

The results came after the researchers, based at the Walker Institute, University of Reading, used data from a suite of state-of-the-art climate models to identify the main causes of uncertainty in predictions of temperature change over different space and time scales. Although this type of study had previously been done on a global scale, this is the first time it has been attempted on regional scales (2000 km) across the globe.

Results showed that for all regions for the next four decades, the main uncertainties in climate predictions are dominated by: (i) differences between the climate models themselves eg in the way they represent different atmospheric processes; (ii) the natural variability of the climate (ie changes in the climate not brought about by human influences). Fortunately, both types of uncertainty are reducible through investment and progress in climate science.

An important issue for planners and funding agencies, therefore, is how climate science can best deliver improvements in such predictions, and so reduce the costs of adaptation to a changing climate.

Dr Hawkins, lead scientist on this project said: "A certain amount of climate change is inevitable, and we will need to adapt. This work has highlighted the need for a debate about where best to target investment in climate science and to consider the return we get in terms of better climate forecasts and reduced adaptation costs."

"Our work suggests that investments in ocean observations, for example, and their use in setting the initial conditions of climate models and in verifying predictions, could give some of the best returns in improved models and climate forecasts for the next 5-50 years. It is not until the 2050s that the dominant uncertainty is in the unknown future emissions of greenhouse gases. "

Issues such as these will also be debated at the World Climate Conference-3 in Geneva at the end of this month, where the focus will be on climate predictions and information for decision-making. Senior scientists, including Professor Rowan Sutton, Director of Climate Research for NCAS and a co-author on the study, will be attending to provide scientific advice and expertise, and stakeholders and government representatives will all meet with the aim to create a global framework to link scientific advances in climate prediction with the needs of users such as farmers and water managers. The conference is only the third of its kind in the last 30 years.

1. Contacts:

Dr Louisa Watts, National Centre for Atmospheric Science
Science Communications Manager. Mobile (+44) (0)7795061124 or Desk +44 (0)1793 411609. Email: NCAScomms@nerc.ac.ukThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Dr Lucy Chappell, Research Communications Manager, University of Reading. Mobile 07515 188751 or Desk: +44 (0)118 378 7391. Email: l.chappell@reading.ac.ukThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

2. Available for Interview:

Dr Ed Hawkins, lead scientist of this study and climate scientist at the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) is available for interview. To set up an interview please contact Dr Louisa Watts or Lucy Chappell on contact numbers above.

3. The published paper has the following reference and is available online:

Hawkins E.and Sutton R, 2009: (Title) The potential to narrow uncertainty in regional climate predictions, Bulletin for the American Meteorological Society doi: 10.1175/2009BAMS2607.1

The paper is available online from the following link http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/2009BAMS2607.1 and the results webpage .

4. The World Climate Conference-3 is being held between 31st August and 3rd September 2009, in Geneva, Switzerland. Organised through the World Meteorological Organization, the overarching theme of the Conference is "Climate prediction and information for decision-making: focusing on scientific advances in seasonal to inter-annual time-scales, taking into account multi-decadal prediction". It includes the application of climate prediction and information to societal problems enabling adaptation to climate variability and change in various sectors such as agriculture and food security, forestry, energy, water, health, urban and rural settlements, infrastructure, tourism, wildlife, trade and transport that contribute to sustainable socio-economic development.

World Climate Conference-3 website

Professor Rowan Sutton, Director of the NCAS Climate research programme will be attending to provide expertise in climate variability on decadal timescales.

5. The National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) is a world leader in atmospheric science. With an annual budget of £9M, NCAS carries out research programmes in climate change science, atmospheric composition (including air quality), weather (including hazardous weather) and state-of-the-art technologies for observing and modelling the atmosphere (including a world-leading research aircraft). We have over 170 research scientists, including UK and world experts to work on our research programmes and provide support to the academic community. These programmes are distributed throughout the UK, at 15 UK universities and research institutes. NCAS is a research centre of the Natural Environment Research Council with its headquarters at the University of Leeds.

www.ncas.ac.uk

6. The Walker Institute for Climate System Research, University of Reading
The Walker Institute is a world-leading multi-disciplinary climate research centre based at the University of Reading. Over 100 scientists from internationally renowned research groups and centres across the University collaborate on research projects worth over £20 million. The research aims to understand the processes and feedbacks that operate within and between components of the climate system and which govern climate variability and change. We strive to improve predictions of climate for the coming decades by building better models and making better use of observations. Our research also assesses the impacts of climate change on the economy and society and the implications for adaptation and mitigation. Associates of the Walker Institute work in such diverse areas as agriculture, biological sciences, chemistry, construction management, business, environmental science, maths, meteorology and physics.

Dr. Louisa Watts | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.walker-institute.ac.uk
http://www.ncas.ac.uk

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drought hits rivers first and more strongly than agriculture
06.09.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie

nachricht Landslides triggered by human activity on the rise
23.08.2018 | European Geosciences Union

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Patented nanostructure for solar cells: Rough optics, smooth surface

Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.

"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...

Im Focus: New soft coral species discovered in Panama

A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.

Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...

Im Focus: New devices based on rust could reduce excess heat in computers

Physicists explore long-distance information transmission in antiferromagnetic iron oxide

Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.

Im Focus: Finding Nemo's genes

An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome

An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome, providing the research community with an invaluable resource to decode the response of fish to...

Im Focus: Graphene enables clock rates in the terahertz range

Graphene is considered a promising candidate for the nanoelectronics of the future. In theory, it should allow clock rates up to a thousand times faster than today’s silicon-based electronics. Scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) and the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE), in cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P), have now shown for the first time that graphene can actually convert electronic signals with frequencies in the gigahertz range – which correspond to today’s clock rates – extremely efficiently into signals with several times higher frequency. The researchers present their results in the scientific journal “Nature”.

Graphene – an ultrathin material consisting of a single layer of interlinked carbon atoms – is considered a promising candidate for the nanoelectronics of the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

One of the world’s most prominent strategic forums for global health held in Berlin in October 2018

03.09.2018 | Event News

4th Intelligent Materials - European Symposium on Intelligent Materials

27.08.2018 | Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

World's first passive anti-frosting surface fights ice with ice

18.09.2018 | Materials Sciences

A novel approach of improving battery performance

18.09.2018 | Materials Sciences

Scientists use artificial neural networks to predict new stable materials

18.09.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>