Improving Met Office weather and climate prediction models
Research led by Professor John Thuburn and his research students at the University of Exeter has been integral to the development of a critical component of weather and climate prediction models at the Met Office.
The ENDGame atmospheric dynamical core is the result of 15 years of research and close collaboration with the Met Office from 2000 to 2014. John and the team applied their expertise in geophysical fluid dynamics and numerical methods to help create a detailed computer model that can solve equations of dynamics efficiently to inform weather and climate predictions.
The new model has been used operationally since July 2014 and has enabled the Met Office to refine the resolution of global weather forecasts from 25km to 10km and resulted in better forecast accuracy. It has also resulted in a more accurate representation of tropical waves and extreme weather events.
A climate model built around ENDGame has produced a comprehensive dataset of climate projections for land, coast and sea under a range of greenhouse gas emissions scenarios, which has been crucial for informing climate change mitigation and adaptation policies from local to national level.
The research has also underpinned delivery of major economic, policy and public safety benefits to UK and beyond; it is estimated that many tens of lives are saved each year thanks to accurate forecasts and weather warnings by the Met Office.
ENDGame has benefited the Aviation sector through improved predictions of storm strength, jet stream winds and cyclones and improved representation of trapped lee waves which can be hazardous to light aircraft.
John is a Chair in Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, jointly funded by the Met Office and the University of Exeter under the Met Office Academic Partnership (MOAP). He spends on average one day per week at the Met Office, working closely with the Dynamics Research team on the continuing evolution of the dynamical core. They are currently working on developing the successor to the ENDGame core, which will run on the next generation of super computer the Met Office uses.
John is also working with Universities of Reading, Leeds and Cambridge on ParaCon, a project which seeks to improve the representation of cumulus convection in Met Office models.
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