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NERC and Climate Change. Dr. Tracey Henshaw Science and Innovation Manager, Head of Atmospheric Sciences Presentation by Dr. Pamela Kempton, Science and Innovation Manager, Head of Terrestrial and Freshwater Sciences 22 May 2007. Key points. Climate Systems strategy LWEC

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nerc and climate change

NERC and Climate Change

Dr. Tracey Henshaw

Science and Innovation Manager,

Head of Atmospheric Sciences

Presentation by Dr. Pamela Kempton, Science and Innovation Manager, Head of Terrestrial and Freshwater Sciences

22 May 2007

key points
Key points
  • Climate Systems strategy
  • LWEC
  • NCAS Core Programme
  • CEH Core Programme
  • Tyndall Centre
  • Other areas of interest…
climate systems strategy
Climate Systems Strategy

Eight science challenges identified:

  • Predictions for decision-making.
  • Enabling society through climate science.
  • Including chemistry and biology in climate change research.
  • Observations to enable climate change detection and prediction.
climate systems strategy1
Climate Systems Strategy

Eight science challenges identified:

  • Key processes determining the sensitivity of the climate system.
  • Natural variability and the link with climate change.
  • The changing water cycle.
  • The role of the Arctic in the global climate system

Challenge (HMT5):

  • “Increasing pressures on natural resources and global climate from rapid economic and population growth in the developing world and sustained demand for fossil fuels in advanced economies”
  • Living with Environmental Change (LWEC)—across-Research Council, multi-agency / department initiative.


  • A ten-year programme, which will “provide decision makers with the best information to effectively manage and protect vital ecosystem services. It will improve our tools and knowledge needed to build resilience, mitigate problems, and adapt to environmental change”
  • Aligns with Defra high-level policy goals on one planet living; climate prediction, adaptation and mitigation; and wise use of natural resources. Similar alignments with other Departments and ERFF members, e.g. DFID and SEERAD.
ncas core programme
NCAS Core Programme
  • S2:Understanding climate variability and predictability from days to decades
  • S3:The science of global and regional climate change
  • S4:Regional impacts of climate variability and change
  • S5:Contributing to the UK’s next generation Earth system model
  • S6:Emerging issues in the modelling of chemistry/climate interactions
  • S7:Understanding past composition; predicting the future
ceh core programme
CEH Core Programme
  • Detection and Attribution of Change in UK and European Ecosystemsmaintains long-term datasets to monitor ecosystem responses to climate change;
  • Eco-hydrological Impacts of Climate Change uses models and statistical techniques to isolate the impacts of climate change to improve predictions of how climate change will affect ecology and hydrology;
  • Land Surface Feedbacks in the Climate System measures the role of land-surface feedbacks in the climate system through energy, water and carbon cycles utilising long-term datasets;
  • Environmental Change undertakes research and monitoring aimed at the early detection and interpretation of environmental change in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems;
  • Climate and Land Surface Group (EIP) aims to improve understanding of how the hydrology and climate system of the biosphere works;
  • Biophysical Modelling Group aims to measure interactions between vegetation, atmosphere, climate and biogeochemistry.

Key themes:

  • Decarbonising Modern Societies involves trans-disciplinary assessments of ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the UK.
  • Adapting to Climate Change is assessing how people and the environment can adapt to unavoidable changes in climate, whether gradual and continuous or abrupt and extreme.
  • Working Group on Climate Prediction for Robust Policy Making considers alternatives to the current scenario-based approach to modelling alternative futures of the global environment;
  • Core Team Projecton ‘Climate effects of radiatively active atmospheric constituents with very different lifetimes’ such as O3, H20v, CH4 and CO2
  • Working Group on Sustainable biofuels (co-sponsored by Volkswagen) aims to develop certification standards for renewable transport fuels;
  • Global Scale Impacts of Climate changewill define coordinated climate, land cover and socio-economic scenarios to drive impact assessment models;
  • Environmental Change and Fisheriesto assess the vulnerability of one or more of the major world fisheries
  • Working Group on the response of UK Soil Carbon to global change (co-sponsored by the EA)—implications of large losses of carbon from UK soils for policies to limit carbon emissions
  • working group in Adaptation to a better understanding of adaptation to climate change as an interactive process
other areas of interest oceans 2025 ukpopnet appraise espa iodp ocean margins arctic ipy coapec
Other areas of interest….(Oceans 2025, UKPopNet, APPRAISE, ESPA, IODP, Ocean Margins, Arctic IPY, COAPEC…)
  • Economics of climate change
  • Air quality – climate interactions
  • Methane release from gas hydrates
  • Ocean acidification
  • Variations in sea level rise
  • Impacts of climate change on ecosystem services