The High Resolution Climate Modelling group is a long-standing collaboration between scientists from two UK institutions at the frontier of exploiting weather-resolving models to simulate the building blocks of Earth's climate—the National Centre for Atmospheric Science and Met Office Hadley Centre for Climate Science and Services.


HRCM is internationally regarded as a leader in global high-resolution climate modelling. By necessity we have a relatively narrow focus, because of personnel resources, technically challenging deliverables, and a comparatively expensive model (HadGEM3). Even so, HRCM has delivered internationally competitive i) “Frontiers” (development) and ii) CMIP-mainstream (e.g. CMIP6-HighResMIP) high resolution, atmosphere-only and coupled simulations, in ensemble mode. HRCM also leads a) international collaborations; b) high impact publications, as well as c) the international community (e.g. HighResMIP and currently HighResMIP2). As part of this international projection, HRCM also maintains strong and long-term collaborations with other research groups in our own institutions, for instance with the seasonal group at the Met Office, who tend to use the same resolution configurations, with K-scale and with the JWCRP CoMorph project.


Pioneering climate-system science: a few milestones

In 2006, the UK-Japan Climate Collaboration developed an N216 (60km) climate model on the Earth Simulator, which guided the configuration of GloSea a few years later, as well as investigating coupled simulations with a sub-1˚ ocean model. UJCC was rebranded as HRCM after our return to the UK in 2008;

In 2012, HRCM were first to run an ensemble of N512 (25km) climate simulations (PRACE-UPSCALE), having won UPSCALE, a landmark PRACE award, and these simulations have been used to participate in the CLIVAR Hurricane Working Group experiment, as well as exploited by a wide variety of groups in the Met Office and NERC. UPSCALE is still generating publications in 2022, 10 years after the experiment was completed;

In 2014, in recognition of HRCM expertise, Roberts and Vidale were chosen to lead the writing of EU Horizon 2020 PRIMAVERA, which was successful, and for the next four years led ~100 scientists across 19 institutions;

In 2017, HRCM developed N1280 (10km globally) configuration of HadGEM3-GA7.1 for PRIMAVERA (Frontiers Simulations), which hints at improved NAO performance in NWP and seasonal prediction, ascribed to eddy-mean flow interactions. We also developed the coupled 1/12˚ model with the ocean group, which is now being taken up by coupled NWP. Coupled N1280-ORCA12 is the target for GloSea on the next Met Office HPC and is the foundation for EU Horizons Europe “EERIE”, led by Roberts and Vidale;

In 2018, HRCM developed N2560 (5km globally) to take part in the DYAMOND campaign. It was used to demonstrate the potential for treating convection explicitly in global simulation, in comparison with other leading global models, and as important foundation for CoMorph. Starting in June 2019, N2560 was used to test the new CASIM microphysics module, hence to better understand global cloud-aerosol-microphysics interactions. EU-H2020 NextGEMS is a clear consequence of the N2560 development and of DYAMOND;

In 2021-2022, having delivered 140 papers so far, PRIMAVERA demonstrated high impact on the 6th IPCC Assessment Report, via proposing and coordinating HighResMIP, the most innovative and challenging CMIP6 protocol, cited 156 times in IPCC AR6, and recently chosen by the international community as the 2nd most useful CMIP6 protocol after ScenarioMIP. HighResMIP also inspired the first Digital Twin for Climate protocol.


Long-term HRCM science questions

Main science question: What is the role of multi-scale interactions in the global climate system? Specifically:

  • Do weather and climate processes shape climate through individual episodes and/or extremes? Examples: transports+fluxes by Tropical Cyclones (atmosphere) and eddies (ocean).
  • Can we improve (s2d) predictability of mid-latitude weather by resolving mesoscale atmosphere+ocean processes in the tropics, and/or mid-latitude air-sea interactions?
  • What is the climatic role of convective organisation, and its contribution to the upscale energy cascade?
  • Are our estimates of climate sensitivity sensitive to model resolution, particularly in the CP regime?




Met Office Hadley Centre

The Met Office Hadley Centre is one of the world's foremost climate change research centres.

We produce world-class guidance on the science of climate change and provide a focus in the UK for the scientific issues associated with climate science.

Largely co-funded by Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Defra (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), we provide in-depth information to, and advise, the Government on climate science issues.

Hadley Centre scientists make significant contributions to peer-reviewed literature and to a variety of climate science reports, including the Assessment Report of the IPCC, and our climate projections were the basis for the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change.

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The National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) is a world leader in atmospheric science. With an annual budget of £9M, we carry out research programmes on:

  • The science of climate change, including modelling and predictions
  • Atmospheric composition, including air quality
  • Weather, including hazardous weather
  • Technologies for observing and modelling the atmosphere

We provide scientific facilities for researchers across the UK to enable coordinated, national-scale atmospheric science. These include a world-leading research aircraft, ground-based instrumentation pool, access to computer models and facilities for storing, accessing and analysing data. In short, we provide the UK academic community and NERC, our parent organisation, with national capability in atmospheric science. We communicate our findings and knowledge for the benefit of policy-makers, other scientists, and the general public.

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