UKCP18 Waves

Lead Research Organisation: National Oceanography Centre
Department Name: Science and Technology

Abstract

The UKCP18 waves internship aims to improve understanding of the policy drivers in decisions-making for managing coastal flooding and erosion risk by close interaction with DEFRA. It will also facilitate the running of downscaled surge and wave models of the North West European shelf, in order to make projections of future surge and wave climate to inform coastal flood risk. NOC has previously played a role in the UK Climate Projections exercise (UKCP09) by providing wave projections for the Marine Projections report (Lowe et al., 2009), on an ad hoc basis. The next revision of these climate impact projections is now in preparation (UKCP18). There is already a close working relationship between NOC, the Met Office, and the Environment Agency, through work on wave and surge modelling, and operational capacity with the Met Office Flood Forecasting Centre (http://www.ffc-environment-agency.metoffice.gov.uk/ ), and the UK Natural Hazards Partnership (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/nhp/). These works are overseen and funded by Defra, who make sure the science is pulled-through into policy. This internship would allow a NOC scientist to become more familiar with the Defra policy needs, while addressing science questions around coastal flood risk.

The intern will collate the wave and surge projections from the latest numerical models (NEMO-surge-WW3) forced by the latest climate projections from global Earth System models (from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5, CMIP5, as used by IPPC Assessment Report 5), downscaled using high resolution atmospheric models from the EuroCORDEX project. The project will also deliver a new wave model run forced by the atmospheric RCA4 model. The internship will focus specifically on modelling surface waves, whilst parallel work on storm surge is ongoing at the Met Office. A close partnership between our groups has already been established through UKCP09, and more recent work on flood risk for Singapore (Bricheno et al. 2015).

As part of UKCP18, parallel downscaled surge modelling will be done at the Met Office, in close communication with NOC. We will collaborate to ensure the same climate model forcings are used so that a consistent set of surge and wave projections can be delivered to UKCP18. Extreme value methods will be used to project coastal impacts at key sites. We will consult with the Met Office stakeholder groups in order to decide where policy-relevant outputs should be delivered. There is also the possibility of implementing the statistical downscaling approach used by Tom Howard to add value to the global data. This method (developed for surge modelling) uses global mean sea level pressure to make prediction of surge extremes at key coastal sites based on the relationship between large scale driving meteorology and surge maxima based on existing UKCP09 datasets

The objective of the project is to build a relationship between NOC, Defra, and the Met Office, to tighten links between policy advisors and cutting edge climate science. While establishing this connection, we will deliver at least one science paper in a high impact journal. Another delivery of the project will be large wave model data sets covering the whole UK coast, which will be shared beyond the lifetime of this internship.

Bricheno, L., Cannaby, H., Howard, T., McInnes, K., & Palmer, M. (2015). Singapore's Second National Climate Change Study - Climate Projections to 2100 Science Report. Chapter 9: Extreme Sea Level Projections.

Publications

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Bricheno L (2018) Future Wave Conditions of Europe, in Response to High-End Climate Change Scenarios in Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans

 
Description The wave conditions around UK and North Western Europe are projected. The mean wave height (average sea surface conditions) are projected to become calmer by around 0.2 m. However, the extreme wave heights (generated by storms) can be up to 0.5m larger. There is a strong uncertainty related to extreme future waves (e.g. average maximum winter wave), but planning decisions need to be based on the high-wave conditions, not just the average state. HIgh waves can damage infrastructure, as well as affecting transport operations / shipping. Also important as drives of coastal erosion, coastal flooding, can affect UK tourism through flooding, sailing etc.
Exploitation Route I am contributing a chapter of UKCP18 ( UK climate predictions 2018), which is being led by the UK Met Office. This will be published and used more widely by scientists and policy makers.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Construction,Energy,Environment,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Government, Democracy and Justice,Transport

 
Description My work has been included in UK climate predictions 2018 - an evidence report to inform policy makers
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Policy & public services

 
Description UK Climate Projections
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
Impact November 2018: Environment secretary Michael Gove launched the latest set of climate change projections for the UK. https://www.carbonbrief.org/in-depth-qa-the-uk-climate-projections-2018 "It's almost impossible to overstate the importance of UK climate projections in facilitating debate and action on adapting to climate change" said Glenn Watts, Deputy Director of Research at the Environment Agency. https://deframedia.blog.gov.uk/2018/11/26/environment-secretary-launches-latest-uk-climate-projections-at-the-science-museum/ The UK's most comprehensive picture yet of how the climate could change over the next century has been launched today by Environment Secretary Michael Gove. Using the latest science from the Met Office and around the world, the UK Climate Projections 2018 illustrate a range of future climate scenarios until 2100 - showing increasing summer temperatures, more extreme weather and rising sea levels are all on the horizon and urgent international action is needed. To help homes and businesses plan for the future, the results set out a range of possible outcomes over the next century based on different rates of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. The high emission scenario shows: Summer temperatures could be up to 5.4C hotter by 2070, while winters could be up to 4.2C warmer The chance of a summer as hot as 2018 is around 50% by 2050 Sea levels in London could rise by up to 1.15 metres by 2100 Average summer rainfall could decrease by up to 47 per cent by 2070, while there could be up to 35 per cent more precipitation in winter. Sea levels are projected to rise over the 21st century and beyond under all emission scenarios - meaning we can expect to see an increase in both the frequency and magnitude of extreme water levels around the UK coastline. The UK already leads the world in tackling climate change - with emissions reduced by more than 40 per cent since 1990. However these projections show a future we could face without further action. UKCP18 can now be used as a tool to guide decision-making and boost resilience - whether that's through increasing flood defences, designing new infrastructure or adjusting ways of farming for drier summers. Speaking today from the Science Museum in London, Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: This cutting-edge science opens our eyes to the extent of the challenge we face, and shows us a future we want to avoid. The UK is already a global leader in tackling climate change, cutting emissions by more than 40 per cent since 1990 - but we must go further. By having this detailed picture of our changing climate, we can ensure we have the right infrastructure to cope with weather extremes, homes and businesses can adapt, and we can make decisions for the future accordingly. Today's projections are the first major update of climate projections in nearly 10 years, building on the success of UKCP09 and ensuring the most up-to-date scientific evidence informs decision-making. With climate change a global challenge, for the first time, UKCP presents international projections, allowing other nations to use this data to gauge future risks for food supply chains, or check rainfall projections for the likelihood of localised flooding. Defra's Chief Scientific Adviser Ian Boyd said: Climate change will affect everybody. UKCP18 is designed to help everybody make better decisions, from those buying a house to people making large investments in infrastructure. It has been produced using state-of-the-art methods. Met Office Chief Scientist Stephen Belcher said: The new science in UKCP18 enables us to move from looking at the trends associated with climate change, to describing how seasonal weather patterns will change. For example, heatwaves like the one we experienced in the summer of 2018 could be normal for the UK by mid-century. While the UK continues to play a leading role in limiting the causes of global warming and halting temperature rises, some changes to the climate are inevitable. Building on the UK government's long-term plan for adapting to a changing climate, these projections will help businesses, investors, local authorities, industry and individuals plan for a wide range of possible future changes - alongside taking action to reduce the likelihood of the worst-case scenario becoming reality. Today's announcement also comes as the UK marks the 10th anniversary of its Climate Change Act - the world's first legally binding legislation to tackle climate change. Just last month the government hosted Green GB Week - a week of action highlighting the economic opportunities from tackling climate change, encouraging communities and businesses to do more. While these projections highlight the need for further urgent action, since 1990 the UK has cut emissions by more than 40 per cent while growing the economy by more than two thirds, the best performance on a per person basis than any other G7 nation. Claire Perry, Minister for Energy and Clean Growth said: These projections from leading UK scientists build on last month's report from climate experts, highlighting the stark reality that we must do more to tackle climate change in order to avoid devastating impacts on our health and prosperity. We are already leading the world in the fight against climate change but we cannot be complacent. As we look towards crucial global climate talks in Poland next week, it is clear that now, more than ever, is the time for collective and ambitious action to tackle this urgent challenge. While it is not possible to give a precise prediction of how weather and climate will change years into the future, UKCP18 provides a range of outcomes that capture the spread of possible future climates, so we can develop and test robust plans. The projections will be factored into the UK's flood adaptation planning and the Environment Agency's advice to flood and coastal erosion risk management authorities. Since 2010 government has invested a record £2.6 billion in flood defences, and we are on track to protect 300,000 more homes from flooding by 2021. Chair of the Environment Agency, Emma Howard Boyd, said: The UK18 projections are further evidence that we will see more extreme weather in the future - we need to prepare and adapt now, climate change impacts are already being felt with the record books being re-written. It is not too late to act. Working together - governments, business, and communities - we can mitigate the impacts of climate change and adapt to a different future. The Environment Agency cannot wall up the country, but will be at the forefront - protecting communities, building resilience, and responding to incidents. UKCP18 has been developed by the Met Office Hadley Centre, in partnership with Defra, BEIS, the Devolved Administrations and the Environment Agency, and has been extensively peer reviewed by an independent science panel. People and businesses will be able to use UKCP18 to explore the types and magnitude of climate change projected for the future, while government will use the projections to inform its adaptation and mitigation planning and decision-making.
URL https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/collaboration/ukcp
 
Description UKCP18 reporting: contribution to marine chapter
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
URL http://ukclimateprojections.metoffice.gov.uk/24125
 
Description Participation in UKCP 18 Peer review panel 
Organisation Meteorological Office UK
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution I worked together with the Met Office to combine my wave projections with those made for storm surge and mean sea level rise.
Collaborator Contribution The Met Office developed the surge and MSLR predictions at equivalent sites
Impact still working on it, but should publish a final report ~ 2018
Start Year 2017
 
Description A talk at AGU Ocean Sciences meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Scientific presentation at the 2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting, 11-16 February in Portland, Oregon.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://osm.agu.org/2018/
 
Description International waves/surge hindcasting/forecasting workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This takes place in September 2017 International waves/surge hindcasting/forecasting workshop. TBC numbers / impacts once it's occured!
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Liverpool Marine symposium 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I gave a talk at the Liverpool Marine Symposium in January. This was a 'plain english' version of the talk to raise awareness of scientific jargon
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Poster at EGU meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Poster presentation at EGU 2017 "Changes in extreme wave conditions of North West Europe, in response to high-end climate scenarios."
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Poster presentation at 'Sea Level Futures' meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Poster presentation at National scientific conference on sea-level. With a focus on future predictions, risk, and adaptation
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://conference.noc.ac.uk/sea-level-futures-2018
 
Description Presentation to Defra 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact I presented a summary of my findings to interested parties at Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs). We discussed how this work should be captured in the UKCP18 marine report.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Seminar at Liverpool University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Invited seminar speaker at the Geography lecture series in Liverpool University
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Telford Flood and Coast 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact presentation at the Telford Flood and Coastal conference
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://floodandcoast.com/
 
Description Webinar for the Environment Agency 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact I gave a webinar explaining my work on wave projections to the Environment Agency (EA).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017