12 months of climate science – climateprediction.net reviews 2016 activities

12 months of climate science – climateprediction.net reviews 2016 activities

The climateprediction.net (CPDN) team, including researchers from the e-Research Centre, recently reviewed their achievements over 2016.

CPDN is unique in providing large ensembles that enable researchers to simulate statistics of extremely rare events, hence the main focus of their work has been on extreme weather and in particular its attribution to external climate drivers.

Whenever an extreme event happens in the world, one of the first questions asked is "was it caused by climate change?". With the World Weather Attribution (WWA) project, CPDN provided scientific answers to that question, in real time, for example for the floods in Paris and Southern Germany in May and the Arctic Heatwave just before Christmas.

Apart from providing attribution information when it was needed most, the team did a great deal of work on the methodological development of extreme event attribution methods using CPDN data, publishing their results in peer reviewed literature. They didn't only look at specific events, however, but also published a number of conceptual papers on attribution as a science, CPDN as a unique capability and climate modelling in general.

The WWA approach used by CPDN was confirmed by The National Academy of Science in the United States as being the best way possible to make use of all available science following its assessment of the state of climate science, published in March.

Many of CPDN's scientific publications are the result of collaborations with scientists around the world. For example, EUCLEIA, a European project that ended this year, not only explored many of the challenges and limitations of extreme event attribution but in particular fostered and strengthened a scientific community that will live on in future collaborations.

With its new 2016 spin-off project Raising Risk Awareness, CPDN will continue to generate a global community and, in particular, enable scientists from developing countries to become active members of this community. The groundwork to make this possible came not only from WWA but also from the NERC funded CPDN project ACE-Africa, which ended in 2016. A main achievement of this project beyond the scientific findings is to provide the right climate model simulations to explore the impacts of climate change of 1.5 and 2 degrees – which will help to provide a solid scientific foundation for policy discussions around the ambitious 1.5 degrees aspiration set by the Paris Agreement.

Read the full story of what CPDN has achieved this year