NERC invests £12 million to improve climate change predictions

8 October 2018

Today, NERC announces it is investing in a new large-scale strategic research programme - Reducing Uncertainties in Climate Models from Clouds.

Cloud feedbacks are a fundamental and persistent problem in climate science and are the dominant uncertainty in assessing global and regional climate sensitivity. The Reducing Uncertainties in Climate Models from Clouds programme will enable a step change in quantifying and reducing uncertainty in cloud feedbacks under climate change by exploiting existing and new observations, together with new capacity in climate modelling.

Research outputs will include:

  • improving our quantitative physical understanding of cloud responses to warming
  • translating new understanding into more realistic high-resolution cloud models that can inform and underpin development of robust and verifiable model parameterisations at the global scale
  • exploiting new and existing observations to test and refine model processes, leading to more tightly constrained values of cloud feedback and climate sensitivity.

NERC will now develop an announcement of opportunity for the programme.

This strategic programme area (SPA) has emerged from the ideas process for strategic research, where NERC captures and builds on ideas for excellent strategic science coming directly from the environmental science community.

As part of this process, in February 2018 NERC announced that it was scoping three potential SPAs for assessment and funding decisions in autumn 2018. The full cases for the 'transforming fractures - exploration of the deep-ocean highways' and 'plastics in the environment' SPAs were not approved for funding.


Kat Scott
01793 411671