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HomeWales WeatherHow we make our 2050 ‘forecasts’, and why we do them 

How we make our 2050 ‘forecasts’, and why we do them 

You will have seen a few of our forecasts that look just a little additional forward than you’d normally count on. Though they use the identical graphics as our regular climate forecasts, we’ve been producing theoretical ‘forecasts’ for 2050 to take a look at what situations we might count on to see within the UK if international greenhouse gasoline emissions proceed to rise.  

One of many best challenges with speaking the dangers of local weather change is the right way to present, in a relatable means, how modifications in our environment might affect the climate we expertise on the Earth’s floor. By displaying what the climate might seem like by 2050 at sure instances of 12 months, it helps folks relate to how completely different their experiences is likely to be below a altering local weather.  

Thus far we’ve produced believable situations for a July 2050 heatwave, Wimbledon and Christmas 2054, and now we’ve examined how Glastonbury might look in 30 years’ time.  

Believable situations  

The important thing facet to those ‘forecasts’ is that they’re believable climate occasions for 2050. After all, it isn’t doable to create a real climate forecast for 2050, nevertheless it’s doable to generate a practical forecast based mostly on the atmospheric situations projected for the long run.  

The long run forecasts are based mostly on local weather projections utilizing a high-emissions state of affairs. One of many largest sources of uncertainty in local weather change is how a lot the world manages to scale back greenhouse gasoline emissions within the years to come back. That’s why local weather scientists mannequin future international warming below varied situations. 

Though these forecasts use one of many larger emission situations (RCP8.5), in the midst of the century – the place we’re focusing – the distinction in local weather response between situations is far lower than later within the century when the advantages of mitigation actions going down now change into far more obvious.  

Extracting the information 

Utilizing Met Workplace local weather modelling experience, we are able to look to the long run and supply knowledge to our presenting group who generate the graphics to accompany the outlook.  

Dr James Pope, a member of the Met Workplace UK Local weather Projections (UKCP) group, explains how this works: 

“Utilizing our newest UKCP18 local weather projections for the UK, we are able to study intimately the varied mannequin runs for a selected interval in time. As a result of the local weather mannequin works in the identical means as our climate forecasting mannequin, we are able to take a look at particular dates of curiosity – for instance when Wimbledon normally happens, or Christmas Day.  

“On this instance we’ve checked out 22-26 June 2050, the time of 12 months when Glastonbury normally takes place. We are able to then assess the varied mannequin runs, as there are a number of outputs that are based mostly on barely completely different atmospheric situations, to see if there are any notable climate occasions at the moment of 12 months. 

“The output from one such mannequin run confirmed a big heatwave, with daytime temperatures reaching 38°C and in a single day temperatures by no means getting beneath 23°C. As such, the ‘forecast’ that we’re producing for 2050 is a believable state of affairs that, relying on future greenhouse gasoline emissions, might occur sooner or later.” 

Presenting the long run 

As soon as James has downloaded the related knowledge, he passes it on to Met Workplace Presenter Aidan McGivern who then makes use of our visualisation software program to generate the introduced forecast.  

Aidan explains extra: “As a result of the local weather mannequin works in the identical means as our operational climate mannequin, we are able to enter knowledge from our local weather projections and show it like a traditional climate forecast. Through the use of the identical color palette as the present operational forecasts, it helps to indicate the depth of the warmth that we might realistically see by 2050.  

Map of the UK displaying the visualisation of the local weather knowledge in a climate forecast format, with clear notes that it isn’t an precise climate forecast. 

“When scientists discuss 1°C or 1.5°C of worldwide warming it may not sound like a lot, however there are wider impacts on our climate system as a consequence of local weather change. Linking these ‘forecasts’ to nationwide occasions makes local weather change very actual. On this instance daytime highs of 38°C can be extraordinarily uncomfortable in a pageant atmosphere, and with temperatures by no means dipping beneath 23°C at evening there isn’t any reduction from the warmth, situations that may pose vital well being dangers.  

“It’s actually vital to guarantee that folks perceive that this isn’t an actual forecast, however a doable state of affairs for the long run. Consequently, we mark up the graphics that present up behind me with very clear dates and a word that this isn’t an precise climate forecast! I all the time embrace a proof on the finish of the movies discussing how we make the movies, why they’re believable situations and the way issues may very well be completely different if swift motion is taken to decrease greenhouse gasoline emissions.” 

Met Workplace Presenter Aidan McGivern within the studio recording the 2050 ‘forecast’  

In order that’s the way it’s accomplished and why we do it. Right here’s the most recent instance that James and Aidan have created for what Glastonbury 2050 might seem like if greenhouse gasoline emissions proceed to rise.  



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