Securing UK's leadership in climate science

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The government announces £60 million investment in the Met Office Hadley Centre's Climate Programme.

11 April 2012

£60 million of investment in the Met Office Hadley Centre’s Climate Programme was announced by the Government today aimed at maintaining the UK’s place as a global leader in climate research and modelling.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker said:

“As we face the impacts of climate change over the coming decades it is vital that we understand what the future holds and the dangers we face. The Met Office Hadley Centre has helped to make the UK a world leader in climate science and I am determined that the Government continues to support their work. This investment will significantly improve their capacity to produce the ground breaking robust evidence for which they are internationally renowned.”

Environment Minister Lord Taylor said:

“The world-class research of the Met Office Hadley Centre has established the UK as a real authority in understanding the challenges of climate change. This new investment will ensure the Hadley Centre continues to provide us with the cutting edge evidence we need as we develop plans to prepare the UK for a changing climate.”

Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts said:

“Supercomputing is fundamental to modern research, especially as it becomes more complex and produces an increasing amount of data. This investment will keep the UK at the forefront of climate science and modelling, underpinned by the leading knowledge and expertise of the Met Office. It also complements the £145 million the Government has invested in e-infrastructure to support industry and academia.”

Nearly £50 million of funding is being committed to a programme of research and modelling until 2015. This investment will significantly enhance the evidence available to Government, supporting both mitigation and adaptation actions and will build upon the Met Office Hadley Centre’s strong collaborations with UK academic science. It will help Government, business, local authorities and other organisations to understand better the threats and opportunities climate change could bring and to take appropriate actions. The planned work will also deliver improved scientific research to support cost-effective deployment of renewable energy.

Over £11 million of new High Performance Computing (supercomputing capacity and associated hardware) will be provided to underpin this programme of research. This significantly enhances the Met Office Hadley Centre’s capability until 2015 and is a response to the recommendation of the Government Chief Scientific Adviser.

Notes to Editors

  1. In 2010, the Government Chief Scientific Adviser Sir John Beddington published the Reviews of Climate Science Advice to Government and the Met Office Hadley Centre role, governance and resourcing. This review recognised the essential and world-leading climate modelling services Met Office Hadley Centre provides to Government and made a number of recommendations around sustainability of funding and governance, including the need for greater high performance computing capability to support development of Met Office Hadley Centre climate science and modelling.
  2. Climate Research - To go as far as possible to meet the needs outlined in the Beddington Review, and following the 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review and a Value for Money Assessment of Met Office Hadley Centre research undertaken for DECC and Defra in 2011; DECC and Defra now confirm a new programme of research to continue support of the Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Programme until at least 2015. DECC’s contribution will be £11.966 million pa and Defra’s £4.5 million pa, making £49.4 million in total.
  3. DECC and Defra, together with the Met Office and its owner, BIS are finalising a Memorandum of Understanding to deliver this sustainable programme of essential climate research over the next three years. This MoU addresses a recommendation of the Value for Money Assessment and is in line with one of the key recommendations made by the House of Commons Science & Technology Committee Inquiry into Science In The Met Office on sustaining delivery of the Met Office Hadley Centre’s science.
  4. Climate Supercomputer - New investment in Met Office Hadley Centre High Performance Computing capacity demonstrates strong support for Met Office Hadley Centre climate science and modelling. The hardware delivered and installed in March 2012 comprised:
* eight 'supernodes' (32 drawers) of IBM Power775 supercomputer servers.
* data archive storage appropriate to the extra HPC hardware, comprising 5760 media tapes, 33 Petabytes of storage, three servers and two tape frames.

The DECC contribution was £7.43 million (six supernodes). The Defra contribution was £3.76 million (2 supernodes and the data archive storage).

A more technical description can be found on the IBM website.

  1. Under the Climate Change Act, Defra have the responsibility to work with businesses, civil society and local government to develop the UK’s first National Adaptation Programme to maintain the resilience of the UK to climate change and changing weather. To take part in the call for views please visit the Defra web-forum.