Photo credit  |  USGS

New international project office to support a world-leading climate modelling hub will be based in the UK

News  |  28 June, 2021  |  Reading time: 2 minutes
Space4Climate chair, Beth Greenaway, has welcomed the news that an international project office to support a world-leading climate modelling hub will be based in the UK. The initiative will use modelling to better understand past, present and future climate changes.

The Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) – bringing together more than 30 climate modelling centres from around the world – will be hosted at the Harwell Space Cluster, in Oxfordshire, by the European Space Agency (ESA).

Beth, Head of Earth Observation and Climate at the UK Space Agency, said: “The UK is a leader in international efforts to understand and combat climate change, and we welcome the arrival of this new ESA-hosted office. As we look towards this year’s COP26 conference, the space sector is more focussed than ever on showcasing the skills and technologies that will help us adapt to a changing climate and to enable sustainable development across the UK, and worldwide.”

The new CMIP International Project Office is due to open in September 2021 and will support technical and scientific planning as well as leading on international stakeholder activities.

CMIP was set up by the World Climate Research Programme in 1995 to improve understanding of the Earth’s past climate, the present climate and what our climate may be like looking decades ahead. Combining huge amounts data, climate models can predict a range of potential future scenarios. These inform vital decisions on climate action around the world and their role is becoming increasingly important. CMIP already provides the basis for important components of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessments, including the understanding of climate change and the projections of future climate change and related impacts. The new hub will enable scientists to validate climate models by testing how they perform against real-word observed data and accurate simulations of underlying climate processes.

Its location underlines the UK’s world-leading role in Earth observation and climate science.