Lead Research Organisation: Natural Environment Research Council


This project forms one of five funded as part of the 'Climate Research Programme' . This was funded jointly by NERC and the Met Office with an overarching aim of ensuring that the UK maintains and strengthens its leading international position in climate science, and hence in climate forecasting and provision of advice for climate policy. In its initial phase, five joint research posts and a Programme Manager post were created. The five research posts covered areas of existing collaboration that were considered as priorities for further development by NERC and the Met Office. The JCRP also established a jointly-owned partition (MONSooN) of the new Met Office supercomputer to enable NERC and Met Office scientists to share data and run models on the same platform. It was recognised that the areas of joint interest in both research and facilities extend beyond climate, good examples being the jointly owned research aircraft and existing cooperation on the Argo float programme. Following the ground-breaking development of the JCRP and the level of co-operation that has ensued, it is clear that the benefits of broadening the scope of the JCRP to encompass all areas of joint interest could be substantial. In addition, the increasing appreciation of the seamless nature of weather and climate and the importance of fundamental oceanic and atmospheric processes and weather phenomena in climate prediction is driving a move towards a more unified approach to weather and climate research. These factors have led to the programme being renamed the Joint Weather & Climate Research Programme, JWCRP


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Description The work under the JWCRP Modelling Monsoons programme has two major findings. They both work towards understanding and improving errors in the simulation of the Asian monsoon in weather and climate models. Most weather and climate models (including the UK Met Office model) fail to properly simulate the Asian monsoon, in particular by showing far too little rainfall over India.

Firstly, we examined the role played by a key piece of the convection scheme, the part of the model the controls rainfall in the tropics. We found that rainfall over India and in nearby regions is very sensitive to a particular parameter in the convection scheme that controls the mixing between moist and dry air. Altering this parameter could improve and increase the rainfall over India. However some rainfall errors elsewhere get worse, and there is little observational basis for setting the parameter at a particular level. More information can be read here:

Secondly, the JWCRP Modelling Monsoon Systems project assessed the impact of increasing the horizontal resolution of a climate model (the spacing of the gridsquares). We compared global models with resolutions of approximately 125km, 60km and 30km grid spacing. At higher resolutions, the locations of rainfall over India and Southeast Asia are improved, particularly nearby to mountain ranges. This is because the mountains are more noticeable when a higher resolution is used. The rainfall over the islands of Indonesia is also displayed better. More about this work can be read at:
Exploitation Route These findings might be used by public sector organisations such as the UK Met Office or their equivalents in other countries, to improve the models they use for forecasting of the weather and climate.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice

Description JWCRP partnership between NERC (University of Reading) and Met Office 
Organisation Meteorological Office UK
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This was one of the initial JWCRP projects between NERC-funded research in universities and the Met Office. Since the position was based in University of Reading, the University and its team led by Dr Andy Turner led the research, and the PDRA was based at University of Reading.
Collaborator Contribution Met Office provided desk space for visits by the PDRA in addition to supervisory support and informal collaboration.
Impact Two joint journal papers between University of Reading and Met Office co-authors on monsoon modelling.
Start Year 2010