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Birmingham joins Met Office platform for extreme weather resilience

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The Met Office Academic Partnership (MOAP) is launching a formal research collaboration to combine the expertise of the Met Office with UK universities research to advance the science and skill of weather and climate prediction.

  • The Met Office has launched a new partnership to build research expertise across the UK.
  • Resilience to extreme weather is becoming increasingly important and urgent research is being undertaken.
  • Met Office plan recognises the importance of interdisciplinary research and underscores how cross expertise, cross industry collaboration is a requirement for climate solutions and resilience.

The partnership will embrace the challenges set out in the Met Office’s newly refreshed Research and Innovation strategy and bring together experts to cover topics where the Met Office does not necessarily have acknowledged expertise.

The academic partnership unites researchers at the University of Birmingham with counterparts at UCL and the Universities of Bristol, Edinburgh, Exeter, Leeds, Oxford, and Reading. The collaboration has a number of workstreams and Birmingham experts will lend their expertise to work on fusing simulations with data sciences, capturing environmental complexity, hazards to decision making, and advancing observations.

Met Office chief scientist Professor Stephen Belcher said: “Extreme weather events and climate change pose among the greatest risks facing humanity. Tackling them is an urgent and huge undertaking. The Met Office can’t do it alone – the Met Office Academic Partnership harnesses the best of UK research and will give us the best chance of coping with and adapting to future change.”

Interdisciplinary research and action will be critical for effective climate solutions

Dr George Pankiewicz, the Met Office head of science partnership said: “Tackling the challenges of high-impact weather and climate can no longer be treated as a single discipline as it increasingly requires involvement from scientists in other sectors including health, technology, artificial intelligence, and the social sciences.”

There is an urgent need to understand the impacts of extreme weather and climate change and how these affect society. Temperature extremes are expected to increase in line with climate change, bringing potential impacts on health.

Lee Chapman, Professor of Climate Resilience at the University of Birmingham, said: “The new partnership coincides with the development of two institutes at Birmingham focussed on Sustainability & Climate Action and Interdisciplinary Data Science & Artificial Intelligence.  We look forward to combining our international expertise in these areas with the world leading work of the Met Office.”

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