UK meteorologists join forces to improve weather forecasts up to four weeks ahead
Scientific advances that could enable weather predictions up to a month ahead are set to support vulnerable communities, global industries and government bodies following a £30 million investment.
A new partnership between the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, University of Reading, European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, and the Met Office has launched the Advancing the Frontiers of Earth System Prediction research programme.
Advancing the Frontiers of Earth System Prediction commits to tackling the research challenges involved in extended-range weather forecasting – creating forecasts for up to four weeks in advance – with benefits for national and international meteorological services, industries such as agriculture, fishing and energy, and government decision-making around the world to protect lives and livelihoods.
Professor Pier Luigi Vidale, a senior climate scientist at the National Centre for Atmospheric Science and University of Reading describes the importance of the partnership’s programme:
“As well as delivering trustworthy extended-range weather forecasts, underpinned by solid understanding of the physical processes governing hazardous weather worldwide, this programme will leverage the latest advances in exascale supercomputing to unleash the power of science to benefit society.”
The broader aim of this research programme is to improve risk assessments, planning and resilience so that communities vulnerable to extreme weather will be much better prepared for what is to come. This is more important than ever because of how climate change is affecting weather in all parts of the world.
Professor Rowan Sutton, Research Dean for Environment at the University of Reading and senior climate scientist at the National Centre for Atmospheric Science
Professor Rowan Sutton, the University of Reading’s Research Dean for Environment, and a senior climate scientist working with the National Centre for Atmospheric Science goes on to explain: “Through this new research programme, which has been developed over many years with our colleagues in the meteorological world, we are able to focus our pooled resources to make strides in physical, mathematical and computational sciences.”
The Advancing the Frontiers of Earth System Prediction programme will run multiple five-year cycles of funding for research projects, taking place alongside opportunities for early-career scientists.
A 15-year long doctoral training programme will commence, with new students starting work each year. In 2023, ten doctoral student (PhD) projects will be available and applications are now open. Around 100 projects will be funded between 2023 – 2038.