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Climate change

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  • "Improving our ability to predict rapid changes in the El Nino Southern Oscillation climatic phenomenon" project, which was a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) RAPID Climate Change Research Programme project (Round 1 - NER/T/S/2002/00443 - Duration 1 Jan 2004 - 30 Sep 2007) led by Prof Alexander Tudhope of the University of Edinburgh, with co-investigators at the Scottish Universities Environment Research Centre, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, and the University of Reading. This dataset collection contains meteorology and ocean model outputs from the FORTE model. The objective was to use a combination of palaeoclimate reconstruction from annually-banded corals and the fully coupled HadCM3 atmosphere-ocean general circulation model to develop an understanding of the controls on variability in the strength and frequency of ENSO, and to improve our ability to predict the likelihood of future rapid changes in this important element of the climate system. To achieve this, we targeted three periods:0-2.5 ka: Representative of near-modern climate forcing; revealing the internal variability in the system.6-9 ka: a period of weak or absent ENSO, and different orbital forcing; a test of the model's ability to capture externally-forced change in ENSO.200-2100 AD: by using the palaeo periods to test and optimise model parameterisation, produce a new, improved, prediction of ENSO variability in a warming world. Rapid Climate Change (RAPID) was a £20 million, six-year (2001-2007) programme for the Natural Environment Research Council. The programme aimed to improve the ability to quantify the probability and magnitude of future rapid change in climate, with a main (but not exclusive) focus on the role of the Atlantic Ocean's Thermohaline Circulation.

  • "To what extent was the Little Ice Age a result of a change in the thermohaline circulation?" project. This was a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) RAPID Climate Change Research Programme project (Joint International Round - NE/C509507/1 - Duration 1 Aug 2005 - 31 Jul 2008) led by Dr Tim Osborn of the University of East Anglia, with co-investigators at the University of East Anglia and Royal Netherlands Meteorology Institute. The dataset contains fresh water hosing model output from the LAR experiment run by the HadCM3 model. The freshwater was added to the North Atlantic basin to a larger area north of the CMIP (between latitudes 50°N and 70°N) area.

  • "To what extent was the Little Ice Age a result of a change in the thermohaline circulation?" project. This was a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) RAPID Climate Change Research Programme project (Joint International Round - NE/C509507/1 - Duration 1 Aug 2005 - 31 Jul 2008) led by Dr Tim Osborn of the University of East Anglia, with co-investigators at the University of East Anglia and Royal Netherlands Meteorology Institute. The dataset contains radiative forcing model output from the HadCM3 model.

  • "The Mass balance and freshwater contribution of the Greenland ice sheet: a combined modelling and observational approach" project, which was a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) RAPID Climate Change Research Programme project (Joint International Round - NE/C51631X/1 - Duration 1 Jun 2005 - 30 Nov 2008) led Prof Jonathan Bamber of the University of Bristol, with co-investigators at the Nansen Environmental & Remote Sensing Center, Norway, the Royal Netherlands Meteorology Institute and Dr MR van den Broeke, University of Utrecht, Netherlands. The dataset quantifies how, where and when the Greenland ice sheet has fed fresh water through iceberg calving, subglacial melting and meltwater runoff into the surrounding ocean during the last half century. This dataset collection contains precipitation, evaporation and run off model outputs. The thermohaline circulation is a global ocean circulation, driven by differences in the density of the sea water that is controlled by temperature (thermal) and salinity (haline). In the north Atlantic, the thermohaline circulation transports warm and salty water to the north, where it, together with the North Atlantic Drift (the north-eastern most extension of the Gulfstream), contributes to the warm sea surface along the coast of western Europe and to the relatively mild European winters. From ice cores drilled in Greenland, there is evidence that rapid climate changes took place during the last glacial (the period roughly from 100,000 to 20,000 years before present): over a period of just several decades, northern European winter temperature dropped by as much as 10 degrees for periods typically lasting 1000 years. The present explanation is that large, pulse-like freshwater fluxes (probably from icebergs that originated from the continental ice sheets) were released into the north Atlantic where they weakened or shut down the thermohaline circulation. In a warmer greenhouse climate, it is also likely that the freshwater flux into the north Atlantic will increase; using a scenario of doubling CO2 within the next 70 years, most atmospheric models predict an increase in precipitation in high latitudes. One of the great uncertainties in these projections is the role of the Greenland ice sheet, which is situated in the middle of the area of interest. We know so little about the variability in its meltwater production and its sensitivity to regional warming that its contribution to the problem of the north Atlantic thermohaline circulation is often ignored, in spite of the fact that the Greenland ice sheet contains enough water to rise global sea level by 6 m! In this proposed research we quantifyed in detail how, where and when the Greenland ice sheet has fed fresh water through iceberg calving, subglacial melting and meltwater runoff into the surrounding ocean during the last half century. The melting and runoff was calculated using a coupled snow - atmosphere model that is run over Greenland at very high resolution (11 km in the horizontal), which took about 1 year on a supercomputer to run! Rapid Climate Change (RAPID) was a £20 million, six-year (2001-2007) programme for the Natural Environment Research Council. The programme aimed to improve the ability to quantify the probability and magnitude of future rapid change in climate, with a main (but not exclusive) focus on the role of the Atlantic Ocean's Thermohaline Circulation.

  • "Improving our ability to predict rapid changes in the El Nino Southern Oscillation climatic phenomenon" project, which was a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) RAPID Climate Change Research Programme project (Round 1 - NER/T/S/2002/00443 - Duration 1 Jan 2004 - 30 Sep 2007) led by Prof Alexander Tudhope of the University of Edinburgh, with co-investigators at the Scottish Universities Environment Research Centre, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, and the University of Reading. This dataset collection contains HadCM3 model outputs. The objective was to use a combination of palaeoclimate reconstruction from annually-banded corals and the fully coupled HadCM3 atmosphere-ocean general circulation model to develop an understanding of the controls on variability in the strength and frequency of ENSO, and to improve our ability to predict the likelihood of future rapid changes in this important element of the climate system. To achieve this, three periods were targeted: a) 0-2.5 ka: Representative of near-modern climate forcing; revealing the internal variability in the system. b) 6-9 ka: a period of weak or absent ENSO, and different orbital forcing; a test of the model's ability to capture externally-forced change in ENSO. c) 200-2100 AD: by using the palaeo periods to test and optimise model parameterisation, produce a new, improved, prediction of ENSO variability in a warming world. Rapid Climate Change (RAPID) was a £20 million, six-year (2001-2007) programme for the Natural Environment Research Council. The programme aimed to improve the ability to quantify the probability and magnitude of future rapid change in climate, with a main (but not exclusive) focus on the role of the Atlantic Ocean's Thermohaline Circulation.

  • The main tools that are used for making projections of climate change in the coming century resulting from greenhouse-gas and other emissions are detailed coupled three-dimensional models of the atmosphere and ocean. However, such models give widely different results for some important aspects of climate change, thus limiting our ability to make practically useful projections. One such aspect is changes that may happen in the Atlantic Ocean thermohaline circulation, often referred to as the Gulf Stream. This circulation transports a great deal of heat northwards. If it weakened, future warming in Europe in particular could be reduced or possibly reversed. The spread of model results basically reflects limitations in current understanding of how the large-scale climate system operates. The aim of this project was to identify which are the most important aspects of that uncertainty by making comparisons of the responses simulated by a range of climate models. The results were intended to help improve the models by focusing attention on the aspects which require further theoretical or observational study. This dataset collection contains meteorology and ocean model outputs. Rapid Climate Change (RAPID) was a £20 million, six-year (2001-2007) programme for the Natural Environment Research Council. The programme aimed to improve the ability to quantify the probability and magnitude of future rapid change in climate, with a main (but not exclusive) focus on the role of the Atlantic Ocean's Thermohaline Circulation.

  • This collection contains data from "The Quantitative applications of high-resolution late Holocene proxy data sets: estimating climate sensitivity and thermohaline circulation influences" project, which was a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) RAPID Climate Change Research Programme project (Round 1 - NER/T/S/2002/00440 - Duration 1 Jul 2003 - 30 Jun 2008) led by Prof Keith Briffa of the University of East Anglia, with co-investigators at the University of East Anglia. This dataset collection contains self-calibrating Palmer Drought Severity Index data. This project analysed the output from state-of-the-art coupled climate models in conjunction with very long instrumental climate data and an extensive archive of annual- and selected decadal-resolution palaeoclimate data to study climate changes during the past millennium. Actual and model-derived synthetic networks of palaeoclimate data have been used to estimate the extent to which (i) variations in Atlantic meridional overturning circulation strength; (ii) variations in the North Atlantic Oscillation; and (iii) the sensitivity of climate to external forcing changes can be reconstructed from different networks of palaeoclimate data, making assumptions about coverage, seasonality of response and reliability of expressed climate signal.

  • Data from "The impact of climate change on the North Atlantic and European storm-track and blocking" project was a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) RAPID Climate Change Research Programme project (Round 2 - NE/C509115/1 - Duration 14 Mar 2005 - 13 Mar 2008) led by Prof Sir Brian Hoskins of Imperial College London, Grantham Institute for Climate Change, with co-investigators also at the University of Reading. This dataset collection contains Unified Model climate pressure outputs from model run xcpuc. Rapid Climate Change (RAPID) was a £20 million, six-year (2001-2007) programme for the Natural Environment Research Council. The programme aimed to improve the ability to quantify the probability and magnitude of future rapid change in climate, with a main (but not exclusive) focus on the role of the Atlantic Ocean's Thermohaline Circulation.

  • Data from "The impact of climate change on the North Atlantic and European storm-track and blocking" project was a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) RAPID Climate Change Research Programme project (Round 2 - NE/C509115/1 - Duration 14 Mar 2005 - 13 Mar 2008) led by Prof Sir Brian Hoskins of Imperial College London, Grantham Institute for Climate Change, with co-investigators also at the University of Reading. This dataset collection contains Unified Model climate temperature and humidity outputs from model run xbzlf. Rapid Climate Change (RAPID) was a £20 million, six-year (2001-2007) programme for the Natural Environment Research Council. The programme aimed to improve the ability to quantify the probability and magnitude of future rapid change in climate, with a main (but not exclusive) focus on the role of the Atlantic Ocean's Thermohaline Circulation.

  • RAPIT was looking at the problem of estimating the risk of the collapse of the overturning circulation. Using modern statistical methods for the analysis of complex numerical models, large ensembles of two Atmosphere Ocean General Circulation Models (HADCM3 and CHIME) were analysed. This dataset contains meteorology, climatology and ocean outputs from ensemble runs xfel, xfgb, xfha and xgym.