Leading researchers gather to discuss future climate issues

Several of the world's leading climate researchers gathered in Norrköping, Sweden recently for SMHI's scientific meeting on future directions in climate modelling.

The international meeting focused on Earth System Models, a new generation of models that aim to include all the important biogeochemical feedback processes that interact with and might influence the evolution of future climate conditions. Models used to date in climate research have generally only encompassed the physical components of the climate system.

"We see a great need to also include a broader spectrum of processes, such as biological and chemical processes in our climate models. This will give us a better understanding of humankind's effect on the climate," says Colin Jones, head of Rossby Centre, SMHI's climate research unit.

Several of the world's leading climate researchers took part in the meeting, which focused on issues related to understanding the future climate over the Nordic and Arctic regions. SMHI scientists in this field also highlighted ongoing work at SMHI and plans for future activities in the direction of Earth System Modeling.

Two current projects SMHI is involved in are; ENSEMBLES, which aims to provide a better quantification of the uncertainties inherent in future climate projections and to develop a probablistic approach to presenting future climate states; and DAMOCLES, which focuses on climate scenarios and improved observations for the Arctic.

Ghassem Asrar från WCRP talar på Rossbydagen 2008
"We must understand the human influence on the climate and also make that knowledge available to humanity. We have come a long way, but our models still need to be improved." said Dr Ghassem Asrar of WCRP, the UN's climate research programme. Foto Ingrid Gudmundsson

Some of the international speakers at the meeting were Dr Ghassem Asrar, Director of the UN climate research programme WCRP, and Professor Peter Cox of the UK Met Office, also Met Office Chair in Climate System Dynamics at the University of Exeter, one of the world's leading experts on the interaction between climate and vegetation.

Professor Vladimir Kattsov, Director of the St Petersburg Main Geophysical Observatory, spoke about climate change in the Arctic. Professor Pavel Kabat, Director of the Earth System Science Centre at the Wageningen University and Research Centre, the Netherlands, discussed the link between society and climate change.

Read more abour ENSEMBLES

Read more about DAMOCLES