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Climate change in the Arctic – North Atlantic region and impacts on the UK

Climate change in the Arctic – North Atlantic region and impacts on the UK (CANARI) is understanding how extreme weather will impact the UK and be shaped by climate change.

The programme will take an all-in-one view of the Arctic – North Atlantic climate system, to understand the impacts on the UK arising from changes taking place in these regions.

The Arctic – North Atlantic climate system is made up of the ocean, the atmosphere above it, and interactions with sea ice and ice sheets.

Major changes to the climate are already occurring across the Arctic and the North Atlantic: with rising ocean and atmospheric temperatures, and rapid loss of Arctic sea ice, and shifts in atmospheric circulation.

Many of the changes that scientists are observing in these regions are unprecedented in historical records. Climate variability and change in the Arctic–North Atlantic region will result in changes in the location and severity of disruptive and extreme weather, such as flooding, drought, heatwaves and extreme winds.

With climate change we can expect to experience an increase in weather events like the extreme flooding across central Europe in summer 2021, and recent heatwaves such as the record breaking UK temperatures in 2019.

CANARI will improve our capability to detect, explain and predict climate variability and changes in the Arctic and North Atlantic, with a focus on extreme weather risk and impacts on the UK. This will enable the UK to play an internationally leading role in addressing the challenges of understanding regional climate change, and provide detailed information about the consequences for UK people, places, and economy.

CANARI is led by the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, in collaboration with the Met Office and several Natural Environment Research Council-supported research centres, including: British Antarctic Survey, British Geological Survey, Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling, National Centre for Earth Observation, National Oceanography Centre, and UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

CANARI is part of the Natural Environment Research Council’s National Capability Multi-Centre Science programme – designed to bring science centres together for more ambitious, integrated, and large-scale research into critical environmental challenges.