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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 Hadley Centre Coupled Model, version 3 (HadCM3) 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.

  • 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.

  • Published papers for NERC grant NE/I020571/2. Grant award abstract: How does the Earth's climate recover from events of rapid and extreme global warming or cooling? Why have the huge fluctuations in atmospheric CO2 in the geological past not caused runaway climate effects, making the Earth become Venus- or Mars-like? Silicate weathering of the continents is the main CO2 removal process, and therefore a dominant long-term climate control mechanism. However the debate on what controls silicate weathering, and therefore atmospheric CO2, is still contentious and ongoing. A correct understanding of the controls on weathering, and its link to atmospheric CO2 levels is critical, because 1) it is possible that weathering is the process that has kept Earth's climate in the relatively narrow bounds required for life over the past several hundred million years; 2) it is impossible to decipher the causes and consequences of long-term climate variations through Earth's history without accurate weathering data, which in turn impacts on our understanding of current climate; 3) comprehension of climate systems leads to more accurate modelling of future climate change; 4) rapid global climate change inevitably leads to large mass extinctions. Therefore it is important to unravel the link between extinctions and the Earth's climate systems, including CO2 control. Lithium isotopes have gained much interest over the past few years because large variations in the Li isotope ratio in rivers and clays are caused by silicate weathering processes. Furthermore, unlike tracers of weathering used previously, Li isotopes also respond to the intensity of weathering, and therefore can be linked directly to weathering rates. This is critical, because for the first time is gives us a window into the variation of weathering rates through time, which in turn means we can use the Earth's past climate variations as a natural laboratory. Three of the largest climate fluctuations and mass extinctions in Earth's history will be examined and modelled, primarily using Li isotopes, but also several other tracers, which will serve to reveal information on marine and volcanic conditions at the time. These geological periods (the end-Ordovician glaciation (450 Ma (million years ago)), the Permo-Triassic event (251 Ma) and the Cenomanian-Turonian Ocean Anoxic Event (94 Ma)), represent times when rapid warming or cooling of Earth's climate occurred, resulting in the extinction of up to 90% of life on Earth. Samples from these time periods exist in the form of marine calcium carbonate. This was precipitated (either inorganically, or via various life forms) in the oceans at the time, and provides a record of ocean chemistry, which in turn is directly linked to the atmospheric conditions. Analysing Li isotopes is a complex procedure, and will be undertaken at Oxford University. Collaborations will exist with Prof. Jan Veizer (Ottawa University) and Dr. Christoph Korte (Copenhagen University), who are specialists in the studied time periods, with Prof. Andy Ridgwell (Bristol University), who is an expert climate modeller, and with Prof. David Harper, who is an expert in mass extinctions. By understanding weathering and climatic responses to periods of rapid global warming and cooling we will gain critical information on Earth's climate feedbacks, and on processes that led to the extinction of vast proportions of the biosphere.

  • Data from "The Predictability of rapid climate change associated with the Atlantic thermohaline circulation" project. This was a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) RAPID Climate Change Research Programme project (Round 2 - NE/C509174/1 - Duration 1 Jan 2005 - 18 Sep 2008) led by Prof Rowan Sutton of the University of Reading, with co-investigators at the University of Oxford and at the National Oceanography Centre. The dataset identifies the dominant sources of uncertainty in General Circulation Model predictions of the Thermohaline Circulation. This dataset contains meteorology model output from the HadCM3 control ensemble. Forecasts of the future behaviour of the Atlantic Thermohaline Circulation (THC) are needed to inform policy on climate change. Such forecasts must be probabilistic taking into account the principal sources of uncertainty. It is not possible to sample exhaustively all sources of uncertainty because the number of degrees of freedom is too great. Consequently a future forecasting system will be reliant on strategies to identify those dimensions of uncertainty that are most important. This project developed an objective methodology to identify the dominant sources of uncertainty in General Circulation Model predictions of the THC. Perturbations to oceanic initial conditions and climate model parameters that generate the most rapid change in the THC and related aspects of climate were identified. These perturbations were used to produce an early probabilistic forecast for the behaviour of the THC up to 2100. The results were also feed directly into the next generation of ensemble climate predictions being developed at the UK Hadley Centre. 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 meteorology and ocean model outputs from the GENIE-1 EMIC 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 CMIP experiment run by the HadCM3 model. The freshwater was added to the North Atlantic basin between latitudes 50°N and 70°N.

  • 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.

  • "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 FORTE2 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.

  • The Assimilation in ocean and coupled models to determine the thermohaline circulation" project was a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) RAPID Climate Change Research Programme project (Round 2 - NE/C509058/1 - Duration 1 Sep 2005 - 30 Sep 2009) led by Prof Keith Haines of the University of Reading, with co-investigators at the National Oceanography Centre. This dataset collection contains Atlantic Ocean Thermohaline Circulation ORCA1 model data.

  • "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.