Energy event looks at challenges of predicting future climate

How might our climate and weather change as we go through the 21st century? And how confident can we be of our predictions?

Two leading authorities will offer their perspectives and views on predicting our future climate at an Energy Controversies event this evening at the University of Aberdeen.

The public event entitled  And now the weather forecast for 2100...  takes place on Wednesday 18 May at 6pm in the King’s College Conference Centre, University of Aberdeen.

Dr Euan Mearns of the University’s School of Geosciences, and co-organiser of the Energy Controversies series with Professor Ben Kneller, explained why this question is important in the context of planning our energy future, saying: “UK energy policy is dictated by the 2008 Climate Change Act that aims to reduce UK carbon dioxide emissions by 80% by 2050. Billions have been spent on climate research worldwide, and billions more are about to be spent building new low carbon energy infrastructure. This event is an opportunity to hear from, and question, two experts on their perspectives of forecasting future climate change.”

Professor Alastair Dawson, presently Senior Research Fellow in the School of Geosciences at the University of Aberdeen, will speak about past global climate change, and how it can help us understand present and future climate, with examples of key geological and historical archives of past climate that shed light on how we understand our present climate, including what we can learn from ice cores and coral reefs. 

Dr Jason Lowe, Head of Climate Knowledge Integration at the Met Office Hadley Centre, will speak about climate models, how they are used, and their limitations. He will also explore what the future might be like if we do – and if we do not - significantly reduce man-made emissions of greenhouse gases.  This will include considering potential changes to large-scale components of the climate system including tropical forests, ocean circulation and the continental ice sheets.