REsearch on Changes of Variability and Environmental Risk (RECoVER)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Exeter
Department Name: Engineering Computer Science and Maths

Abstract

This project aims to develop, and to provide a range of mechanisms to support interdisciplinary collaborations that use and develop new mathematics for understanding climate variability and impact on resilience. Focusing on three scientific themes the project will nurture connections between mathematicians, statisticians, environmental scientists, policy makers and end users working in impact areas to help to identify high-risk and high-return research that will develop collaborations in the areas of the themes.
We will do this by a range of tools, including a series of managed events (workshops, sandpits, study groups and e-seminars) that will focus on specific problems to end users as well as promoting novel collaborations in the areas of scientific focus. We will provide a mechanism to solicit, evaluate and fund proposals for feasibility studies that work across this area. This will be informed by an expert panel of researchers as well as an advisory panel taken from national and international groups and end-users.

Planned Impact

The main impact will come by creating a number of collaborations in areas that are traditionally served by different disciplines, different research councils but that are of high societal importance. The recent (winter 2014) floodings demonstrated very well that environment change can have substantial impact on society and prosperity. Better and more precise forecasting tools will enable planning and mitigation to environmental change to improve our preparedness.

One particular challenge is that although the change of mean quantities such as mean temperature is relatively predictable, the impact on society typically comes from climate and weather extremes and the science behind predicting these accurately is in need of new ideas beyond investment in large computer simulations which can only go so far to providing accurate predictions.

The impact will be realised by a engagement with a wide range of academics, end users, networks and organizations, and the advisory board will be vital in steering this work. In addition, we will work with research projects supported by this project to ensure that investigators consider and communicate potential impacts to a range of potential users.

Publications

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Boulton CA (2015) Slowing down of North Pacific climate variability and its implications for abrupt ecosystem change. in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

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Quinn C (2019) Effects of Periodic Forcing on a Paleoclimate Delay Model in SIAM Journal on Applied Dynamical Systems

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Ritchie P (2017) Probability of noise- and rate-induced tipping. in Physical review. E

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Ritchie P (2019) Inverse-square law between time and amplitude for crossing tipping thresholds in Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences

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Von Der Heydt A (2016) State dependence of climate sensitivity: attractor constraints and palaeoclimate regimes in Dynamics and Statistics of the Climate System

 
Description The project ran a number of activities and events and funded a number of small-scale research projects that explore new mathematical tools and apply them to understanding, predicting and managing the effects of environmental change. We have had a number of meetings joint with researchers working in (a) Energy demand and supply, (b) Water resources (c) Palaeoclimate and (d) ecosystems services.
Exploitation Route New collaborations have been established that have already contributed to at least one EU-wide funded research project "TiPES".
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Energy,Environment,Financial Services, and Management Consultancy,Healthcare,Government, Democracy and Justice,Security and Diplomacy,Transport

URL http://www.recoverlwec.org/
 
Description NEXT-GENERATION HIGH PERFORMANCE COMPUTING FOR THE ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES: A ROADMAP
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
URL http://empslocal.ex.ac.uk/people/staff/pashwin/ReCoVER/HPC_Roadmap_final_2018.pdf
 
Description Addressing knowledge gaps in climate science, in support of IPCC reports: TiPES; Tipping points in the Earth System
Amount € 8,561,000 (EUR)
Funding ID 820970 
Organisation European Commission H2020 
Sector Public
Country Belgium
Start 09/2019 
End 08/2023
 
Title Database of researchers in mathematics and climate 
Description Members of CliMathNet were invited to add themselves to a newsletter subscription on jiscmail to allow better linking up of research interests in this area. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Several members from the database have gone on to collaborate and indeed have been active in running further networks. 
URL https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/webadmin?A0=CLIMATHNET
 
Description ECMWF 
Organisation European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting ECMWF
Country European Union (EU) 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We assisted in ECMWF running a workshop on novel numerical methods for weather forecasting, in collaboration with CliMathNet.
Collaborator Contribution Members of ECMWF have attended and contributed to workshops and conferences, and the network.
Impact Multi-disciplinary, mathematics and meteorology.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Met Office 
Organisation Meteorological Office UK
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We have run a number of workshops and conferences that have enabled members of this partnership to gain access to ongoing research of relevance to the Met Office.
Collaborator Contribution Participation in conferences and workshops, membership of network, time to contribute to advisory board and policy meetings.
Impact Multi-disciplinary collaboration between mathematics, statistics, numerical weather prediction and climate science.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Public Health England 
Organisation Public Health England
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We have helped PHE to publicise important issues of concern to the CliMathNet community. We also supported a conference visit of a member of PHE to an international conference on Health and Climate.
Collaborator Contribution PHE have helped the project by providing expertise at the advisory committees.
Impact PHE has contributed advice and guidance through the advisory committee. We have also supported a visit of Dr B Eggen from PHE to the 2nd Global WHO conference on Health and Climate in 2016.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Tyndall Centre 
Organisation University of East Anglia
Department Tyndall Centre
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution ClMathNet has highlighted areas felt by Tyndall centre to be where scientific developments are needed for climate science.
Collaborator Contribution Participation in ClIMathNet eevntsand as part of advisory board.
Impact N/A
Start Year 2012
 
Description Case studies of project outcomes 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A complete set of case studies of research funded by the project is available as a zipped archive.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://empslocal.ex.ac.uk/people/staff/pashwin/ReCoVER/ReCovER_Final_%20Case_Studies.zip
 
Description CliMathNet Virtual Outreach Conference 2016, Reaching out from Maths and Environmental Science: 21st June 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The purpose of this virtual meeting was to discuss how best to communicate climate, environmental and mathematical science to the public and other non-academic audiences. Through the use of examples of best practice, we aim to inspire and provide guidance on the delivery of effective outreach activities to:
a) Schools,
b) General public,
c) Policymakers,
d) Commercial / Industrial partners.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.climathnet.org/meetingsandevents/virtualoutreachconference2016/
 
Description CliMathNet conference 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The conference addressed emerging mathematical, computational and statistical techniques for understanding weather and climate. Areas of interest include: - Stochastic and deterministic modelling - Data/model fusion and assimilations - Prediction and Predictability - Climate variability and climate change - Understanding future from past climatic conditions - Extreme events and critical transitions - Model reduction techniques and parameterisation - Downscaling and post-processing - Geophysical turbulence - Statistical Mechanics of Climate - Numerical Models - High performance Computing. The conference featured a special session dedicated to showcasing relevant research outputs of some UK-based graduate schools. This event was a collaboration of CliMathNet (funded by ReCoVER), of the Centre for the Mathematics of Planet Earth of the University of Reading, and of the Mathematics of Planet Earth Centre for Doctoral Training.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.climathnet.org/2017conferencereading/
 
Description Climate Tipping Points Workshop, 18th - 20th April, 2016. Dartington Hall, Devon, UK. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This workshop, which was hosted by Tim Lenton (University of Exeter), followed on from the Tipping Points meeting that was hosted by Marten Scheffer and Sebastian Bathiany in Amsterdam last year (2015).

The aim of the workshop was to:
to reflect on progress in the mathematics of tipping points,
to work towards the development of some joint paper(s), and
to link up with part of the new 'CRITICS' EU network of PhD students studying critical transitions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://sites.google.com/site/recoverlwec/activities-and-events/climate-tipping-points-workshop-2016
 
Description ClimateTippingPoints events and website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact This project hosted conversations about climate tipping points at a series of stalls, public discussions, and online during October and November 2016, focusing on how they happen, why they're important to our lives, and how researchers are trying to understand and predict them. It also generated a website for wider reach and future reference. This work was undertaken by David Armstrong MacKay and funded by ReCoVER
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://climatetippingpoints.info/
 
Description Commanding Curiosity 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact The 'Commanding Curiosity' outreach event was used at a Space-themed family fun day at the Barton Community Centre in East Oxford (19th November, 2016). Barton is an area with a significantly lower participation in higher education than the national average. By taking the event to the community, we could engage with members of the community who might not usually engage with physics outreach activities ran in the department. The fun day consisted of information stalls with hands-on activities, space-themed crafts, a planetarium, and the 'Commanding Curiosity' event. Approximately 120-140 people attended the fun day. The event was run by Hannah Christiansen (Oxford) with support from ReCoVER
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www2.physics.ox.ac.uk/contacts/people/arnold
 
Description Crash Course Cryosphere - YouTube episodes 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact As part of ReCoVER's outreach, we sponsored Simon Clark to make a number of YouTube videos "Crash course cryosphere" aimed at communicating the physical and mathematical problems underlying modelling ice and its effect on the climate. So far the first episode has achieved 18,000 views, and Simon has completed seven episodes. The aim of the series is: Students will finish the series with an increased understanding of the science of the cryosphere and humans' interactions with it; the series will serve as a springboard for further specialisation into the field by students, as well as raising awareness of anthropogenic effects on the cryosphere, and the science and mathematics involved in the research of the natural world.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4EcVc5gTgo
 
Description Exhibit Ash and Aviation at NERCIntotheblue public exhibition 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The exhibit ('Ash & Aviation') reported recent scientific advances in the monitoring and modelling of volcanic ash clouds in the atmosphere and how this information is used to assess the safety of aircraft flights. This was prepared by Prof Andrew Hogg (Bristol) and funded by ReCoVER. It won the prize for the highest number of public votes as favourite exhibit at the Manchester NERC "Into the blue" exhibition.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://intotheblue.nerc.ac.uk/manchester/itb-manchester-exhibitor-programme.pdf
 
Description Fourth Annual CliMathNet Conference, University of Exeter, 5th - 8th July 2016. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The conference provided a forum for mathematics and statistics applied to weather and climate science, including
The development of novel methodologies to paleoclimates;
Planetary system modelling;
Weather and climate forecasting, and;
Coupled social-environmental systems.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.climathnet.org/meetingsandevents/conference2016/
 
Description Integrated assessment modelling sandpit. May 2015, Dartington Hall, Devon 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact ReCoVER held a sandpit meeting on 14th and 15th May 2015 at Dartington Hall in Devon, looking at new approaches to Integrated Assessment Modelling, including from a policy perspective. There were a mixture of academics from a wide range of disciplines as well as policymakers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://sites.google.com/site/recoverlwec/activities-and-events/iams-worksh
 
Description Mathematical challenges of managing energy variability in the face of weather and climate variability workshop, 14 - 15th January 2016, Birmingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The aim of the workshop was to explore themes for research that may in the long term help manage the relationship between variability of weather/climate and of water/energy use. For example, we explored some of the challenges that arise from:
Relations between weather variability and energy demand.
Relations between weather variability and renewable energy generation.
Longer-term challenges of climate change on energy generation and demand.
Developing and using climate forecasts for engineering simulations.
Linking smart meter patterns of activity to behavioural change.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://sites.google.com/site/recoverlwec/activities-and-events/recover-teddinet
 
Description The influence of weather and climate variability on water resources management, 23rd - 24th January 2017, Exeter. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The aim of the workshop was to explore how weather/climate variability will shape water resources management in the long term and identify themes for research that could help develop management strategies to better cope with the variability in means and extremes. We explored challenges that arise from:
• Understanding weather/climate variability and climatic risk on water resources management.
• Relations between weather variability and fluctuations in water supply capacity and water demand.
• Longer-term challenges of climate change on meeting water demand.
• Developing and using climate forecasts for water infrastructure planning and management.
• Developing resilient water supply to weather/climate variability.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://sites.google.com/site/recoverlwec/activities-and-events/recover-brim-jan2017
 
Description Tipping points in ecosystems services 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact There were two short meetings between ReCoVER and projects from the NERC Valuing Nature Programme, held at the University of Exeter on 3rd July 2017 and 8th January 2018. The meetings aimed to bring together natural scientists working to understand the services provided to humans from ecosystems with mathematicians with experience of detecting and predicting tipping points.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
URL https://sites.google.com/site/recoverlwec/activities-and-events/tipping-points-vnp
 
Description Workshop: Pacing and Synchronisation of Palaeoclimate Variability 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This joint meeting between ReCoVER and Past Earth Network took place at Dartington Hall, Devon, UK on 29th and 30th June 2017. The meeting looked at a hierarchy of nonlinear models of past climate and will consider how global oscillations of climate variables are created (forced or internal) and may be "paced" by astronomical or other forcing. This adds to our understanding of how the climate system in general responds to forcing, which is relevant for projected future climate change.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://sites.google.com/site/recoverlwec/activities-and-events/dartington2017