Latest climate science
Implications for Wales
Vicky Pope
Sept 2013
© Crown copyright Met Office
Latest climate science
Implications for Wales
• Basics of climate – theory and
observations
• Why has there been such
extr...
© Crown copyright Met Office
© Crown copyright Met Office
Incoming energy from the sun
Sun’s energy reflected by clouds
Sun’s energy reflected by Earth
Sun’s energy absorbed by atm...
Water evaporates from rivers
lakes and the ocean
Water condenses to form clouds
Loss of water from plants, soil,
animals a...
Hadley cell
Ferrel cell
Polar cell
Trade winds
© Crown copyright Met Office
© Crown copyright Met Office
© Crown copyright Met Office
© Crown copyright Met Office
© Crown copyright Met Office
© Crown copyright Met Office
Evidence: the Greenhouse effect

The average temperature of the Earth is 14 ºC. Without the blanket of greenhouse gases
it...
Atmospheric carbon dioxide
(parts per million)

INCREASING – Atmospheric carbon
dioxide

380

Atmospheric carbon dioxide

...
INCREASING – Land surface
temperature

1850

1900

1950

2000

Global temperatures have increased decade on decade since t...
INCREASING – Sea surface
temperature

1850

© Crown copyright
Met Office

1900

1950

2000
INCREASING – Tropospheric
temperature

1850

© Crown copyright
Met Office

1900

1950

2000
INCREASING – Specific humidty

1850

© Crown copyright
Met Office

1900

1950

2000
INCREASING – Sea level

1850

© Crown copyright
Met Office

1900

1950

2000
DECREASING – September
Arctic sea ice extent

1850

© Crown copyright
Met Office

1900

1950

2000
DECREASING – Glacier mass
balance

1850

© Crown copyright
Met Office

1900

1950

2000
Why has there been such
extreme weather recently?
UK cold winter December 2010
Coldest December on record in Wales -3.8 degC
Record minimum: -18.0 deg C at Llysdinam (Powys...
Extreme weather
From drought...

2 dry winters

Oct 2010 – March 2012 Rainfall
% of 1971-2000 average
Extreme weather
...to flood

Wettest June on record
(180% of average)
2 dry winters

Summer 2012 Rainfall
% of 1971-2000 a...
Is this the sign of things to come?
Impact on projections
Climate model projections CMIP5
Global surface temperature (single study, AR5 will contain synthesised results)
Knutti and...
Climate model projections CMIP5
Preciptation (single study, AR5 will contain synthesised results)
Knutti and Sedláček, 201...
Important processes for UK
weather and climate
•
•
•
•

North Atlantic weather – slow changes in ocean surface temperature...
Low UV from the sun leads to easterly winds
and cold conditions in Europe and the US
Global focus
Global average temperatures
(including latest observations)
Hiatus in warming: Possible contributions
Met Office Hiatus report (IPCC AR5 will contain synthesised results)
http://www....
The impact of a global temperature rise
of 4 ºC
Change in temperature from pre-industrial climate
1

2

3

Ocean
Acidifica...
Steadily increasing CO2 (similar to BAU scenario
by 2100). Excludes deforestation and fire
Fundamentals of weather
and climate modelling

 Represent the earth by a grid of squares, typically of length 100 km or s...
1.5km resolution climate model
Resolution of Welsh terrain

Mountains

Mountains

(130km grid)

(60km grid)

Best longterm...
Important processes
Rainfall Oct to March

Video of the jet stream
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/le
arning/wind/what-is-the-...
Sea Ice
EP2
Headline
results

© Crown copyright
Met Office
Latest climate scienceImplications for Wales Met Office September 2013
Latest climate scienceImplications for Wales Met Office September 2013
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Latest climate science Implications for Wales Met Office September 2013

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Latest climate science Implications for Wales a presentation by Vicky Pope, Met Office.

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  • 485 mm rainfall for Wales summer 2012
    Average – 270.6mm
    Wettest June on record – 205mm (avg 86.2mm)
  • Multi-model mean relative precipitation change for two seasons (December–February, DJF, and June–August, JJA) and one 20-year time periods centred around 2090, relative to 1986–2005, for CMIP5 (left) and CMIP3 (right). Stippling marks high robustness, hatching marks no significant change and white areas mark inconsistent model responses (
  • Figure 1. Individual and MEM projections of GTE (m) under (a) RCP2.6, (b) RCP4.5 and (c) RCP8.5. The curves show
    the GTE relative to 2006. Thick black lines indicate the MEM. The discontinuity at 2100 is due to the change of ensemble
    size.
  • Guest blog – How the Atlantic may influence wet summers
    This morning there has been a lot of media coverage following a workshop held here at the Met Office HQ in Exeter on a recent run of unusual seasons in the UK.
    Much of this centred around recent research by the University of Reading, presented at the workshop yesterday, which suggested Atlantic ocean cycles – specifically one known as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) – can have an influence on UK summer weather.
    Here Professor Rowan Sutton, from the University of Reading, explains that research in a bit more detail:
    “Last year, Buwen Dong and I at the National Centre for Atmospheric Science published a paper in Nature Geoscience about the link between slow changes in the temperature of the North Atlantic Ocean and weather patterns.
    In particular, we presented evidence of a link between warm surface temperatures in the North Atlantic and a higher frequency of wet summers in the UK and Northern Europe.
    This research built on earlier research I published with another colleague, Dan Hodson, in Science in 2005 and an important study by Jeff Knight and colleagues at the Met Office, which was published in 2006.
    In our 2012 paper we showed that a rapid warming of the North Atlantic Ocean which occurred in the 1990s coincided with a shift to wetter summers in the UK and northern Europe and hotter, drier summers around the Mediterranean. The pattern identified matched that of summer 2012, when the UK had the wettest summer in 100 years.
    Observational records show that the surface temperature of the North Atlantic has swung slowly between warmer and cooler conditions, and the present warm phase has a similar pattern to warm conditions that persisted throughout the 1930s, 40s and 50s. During the 1960s, 70s and 80s cooler conditions prevailed.
    Computer simulations suggest that these changes in ocean temperature affect the atmosphere above. Warmth in the North Atlantic causes a trough of low pressure over western Europe in summer and steers rain-bearing weather systems into the UK.
    An important question of interest to many people is how long will the current pattern of wet summers in northern Europe persist? This is a key research question and we don’t yet have precise answers.
    In our 2012 paper we stated: “Our results suggest that the recent pattern of anomalies in European climate will persist as long as the North Atlantic Ocean remains anomalously warm.”
    How long might this be? There is strong evidence linking the swings in the Atlantic Ocean surface temperature to the “overturning” or “thermohaline” circulation of the Atlantic.
    This circulation appears to have intensified in the 1990s. Following such a strengthening, a subsequent weakening is expected, as various feedbacks exert their influence.
    For example, the surface warm waters transported northward by the overturning circulation have relatively low density which inhibits their tendency to sink, and acts to slow the circulation. Such a slowing cools the North Atlantic.
    The time scales involved are in the range between a few years and a decade or two. Progress in Decadal Forecasting, such as the pioneering work at the Met Office, and critical observations such as from the NERC-funded “RAPID” array, should help us to reduce this large range of uncertainty, but it is a challenging problem and advances may take some years.”
  • What the map shows
    Average of models1 when they reach 4 ºC
    With no mitigation there is +4 ºC rise by 2100
    Some of the human impacts
    Highlights some UK research since IPCC
    Assume consistent population growth (A1B)
    What the map does not show
    Not particular time
    Likelihood of this happening
    No assumptions about adaptive capacity
    Non-climate drivers excluded
    1Met Office Hadley Centre HadCM3 QUMP ensemble model runs (A1B and A1FI scenarios)
  • Future forest fraction under an idealised scenario of steadily increasing carbon dioxide (roughly corresponding to the end of the century under a business as usual emissions scenario), from the old (top) and new (bottom) Met Office models. These results exclude the effects of deforestation and fire. Some forest dieback is found in the new model as forest adjusts over longer timescales
  • Climate Change Adaptation Planning Guide: This schematic gives the user a guide to when the energy industry should plan and adapt to climate change, based on the results of this project. The assessment is based on a judgement of the level of risk posed by climate change across the UK. In practice, adaptation plans will need to be location specific and should take in to account the resilience of the existing infrastructure.
    Examples of EP2 achievements:
    Investigated future wind resource, enabling the industry to understand the continued uncertainty of future wind power. This will assist risk management and investment decisions.
    Modelled future soil conditions and their impact on cables. This has helped companies understand the cost and benefits of installing cables for a more resilient future network.
    Built a tool to enable UK coastal and marine sites of interest to be screened to assess if sea level rise should be considered in more detail.
    Investigated how the urban heat island effect may change in the future, so that network companies can develop plans for their infrastructure in cities.
    Examples of some of the project’s findings:
    With a few exceptions, such as the thermal ratings of equipment and apparatus, there is currently no evidence to support adjusting network design standards. For example, existing design standards for overhead line conductors do not require change.
    Soil conditions will change — higher temperatures and seasonal differences in soil moisture are expected. Future conditions could be included in cable rating studies by increasing average summer soil temperatures in the models by approximately 0.5 °C per decade.
    The output of thermal power stations (and in particular combined cycle gas turbines) could be suppressed, with higher air temperature meaning lower air density and lower mass flow. Conditions at each location should be considered, especially during redesign or new build and, if appropriate, adaptation planned.
    Historical climatologies are no longer valid because climate is not stationary. The new climatologies that take account of climate change are already being adopted and will improve demand forecasting and planning out to 10 years ahead.
  • Latest climate science Implications for Wales Met Office September 2013

    1. 1. Latest climate science Implications for Wales Vicky Pope Sept 2013 © Crown copyright Met Office
    2. 2. Latest climate science Implications for Wales • Basics of climate – theory and observations • Why has there been such extreme weather recently? • Is this the sign of things to come? Impact on projections © Crown copyright Met Office
    3. 3. © Crown copyright Met Office © Crown copyright Met Office
    4. 4. Incoming energy from the sun Sun’s energy reflected by clouds Sun’s energy reflected by Earth Sun’s energy absorbed by atmosphere Heat energy radiated from Earth Heat energy passes through atmosphere Heat energy re-emitted to warm Earth © Crown copyright Met Office © Crown copyright Met Office
    5. 5. Water evaporates from rivers lakes and the ocean Water condenses to form clouds Loss of water from plants, soil, animals and people Water returns to land as precipitation Water carried downhill by rivers Water seeps into ground and flows to sea © Crown copyright Met Office © Crown copyright Met Office
    6. 6. Hadley cell Ferrel cell Polar cell Trade winds © Crown copyright Met Office © Crown copyright Met Office
    7. 7. © Crown copyright Met Office © Crown copyright Met Office
    8. 8. © Crown copyright Met Office © Crown copyright Met Office
    9. 9. Evidence: the Greenhouse effect The average temperature of the Earth is 14 ºC. Without the blanket of greenhouse gases it would be –18 ºC. The water vapour feedback enhances the warming due to man-made greenhouse gases © Crown copyright Met Office
    10. 10. Atmospheric carbon dioxide (parts per million) INCREASING – Atmospheric carbon dioxide 380 Atmospheric carbon dioxide 360 340 320 1850 1900 1950 2000 CO2 has risen by 107ppm (38%) from pre-industrial levels of 280ppm. © Crown copyright Met Office
    11. 11. INCREASING – Land surface temperature 1850 1900 1950 2000 Global temperatures have increased decade on decade since the mid 20th century, consistent with the basic physics. The water vapour feedback enhances the warming due to man-made greenhouse gases © Crown copyright Met Office
    12. 12. INCREASING – Sea surface temperature 1850 © Crown copyright Met Office 1900 1950 2000
    13. 13. INCREASING – Tropospheric temperature 1850 © Crown copyright Met Office 1900 1950 2000
    14. 14. INCREASING – Specific humidty 1850 © Crown copyright Met Office 1900 1950 2000
    15. 15. INCREASING – Sea level 1850 © Crown copyright Met Office 1900 1950 2000
    16. 16. DECREASING – September Arctic sea ice extent 1850 © Crown copyright Met Office 1900 1950 2000
    17. 17. DECREASING – Glacier mass balance 1850 © Crown copyright Met Office 1900 1950 2000
    18. 18. Why has there been such extreme weather recently?
    19. 19. UK cold winter December 2010 Coldest December on record in Wales -3.8 degC Record minimum: -18.0 deg C at Llysdinam (Powys) 28 November 2010 • The odds of the cold December 2010 temperatures have halved as a result of human-induced climate change • Unusual circulation patterns can still bring very cold winter months Christidis and Stott, Met Office Massey et al, University of Oxford, Met Office 19
    20. 20. Extreme weather From drought... 2 dry winters Oct 2010 – March 2012 Rainfall % of 1971-2000 average
    21. 21. Extreme weather ...to flood Wettest June on record (180% of average) 2 dry winters Summer 2012 Rainfall % of 1971-2000 average 3rd wettest summer on record for Wales (240% of average)
    22. 22. Is this the sign of things to come? Impact on projections
    23. 23. Climate model projections CMIP5 Global surface temperature (single study, AR5 will contain synthesised results) Knutti and Sedláček, 2013 Representative comparison between CMIP3 and 5 models (scaled using simple models)
    24. 24. Climate model projections CMIP5 Preciptation (single study, AR5 will contain synthesised results) Knutti and Sedláček, 2013 December - February June - August Stippling – high robustness Hatching – no significant change White – models inconsistent
    25. 25. Important processes for UK weather and climate • • • • North Atlantic weather – slow changes in ocean surface temperatures Tropical Pacific weather – El Nino Video of the jet stream http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/le Arctic Sea ice retreat arning/wind/what-is-the-jetstream?rel=0 Solar variability Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation
    26. 26. Low UV from the sun leads to easterly winds and cold conditions in Europe and the US
    27. 27. Global focus
    28. 28. Global average temperatures (including latest observations)
    29. 29. Hiatus in warming: Possible contributions Met Office Hiatus report (IPCC AR5 will contain synthesised results) http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/news/recent-pause-in-warming • Natural variability: models have 10-15 year periods with no warming or even cooling • Incoming radiation: reduction of 0.6 Wm-2 needed to explain pause. Maximum possible is 0.3 Wm-2 • Recent decrease in stratospheric water vapour: traps less heat: up to 0.1Wm-2 • Change in man-made aerosols: little net effect • Volcanic eruptions: not enough during period • Extended solar minimum: less than 0.2Wm-2 • Ocean changes: could be a major contributor • Ocean heat content, sea-level rise observations: Earth system continued to absorbed heat • Additional heat appears to have been absorbed in the ocean. • Increased exchange to deep ocean appears to have caused at least part of the pause in surface warming, • Observations indicate that Pacific Ocean may play a key role.
    30. 30. The impact of a global temperature rise of 4 ºC Change in temperature from pre-industrial climate 1 2 3 Ocean Acidification Rainforest loss © Crown copyright Met Office 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Methane release Melting ice More heatwaves 4 Increased drought Forest fire Reduced crops Stronger tropical storms Current City population • 3-10 million • 10-20 million
    31. 31. Steadily increasing CO2 (similar to BAU scenario by 2100). Excludes deforestation and fire
    32. 32. Fundamentals of weather and climate modelling  Represent the earth by a grid of squares, typically of length 100 km or smaller.  Atmosphere and oceans are divided into vertical slices of varying depths.  3-dimensional picture of the state of the atmosphere and oceans.  Integrate equations of motion and thermodynamics forward in time.  © Crown copyright Met salinity and momentum Conserve heat, moisture,
    33. 33. 1.5km resolution climate model Resolution of Welsh terrain Mountains Mountains (130km grid) (60km grid) Best longterm climate models, UKCP09 State-of-art seasonal model Mountains (25km grid) Current global weather forecasting Mountains (1.5km grid) Current UK weather forecasting + groundbreaking climate work
    34. 34. Important processes Rainfall Oct to March Video of the jet stream http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/le arning/wind/what-is-the-jetstream?rel=0
    35. 35. Sea Ice
    36. 36. EP2 Headline results © Crown copyright Met Office

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