Climate Science

Inside the Ice - What a French glacier taught me about climate change by Anita Vollmer theWeather Club Mon, 03/12/2018 - 14:47

It is the middle of August in 2018 and I am in a small town in the Swiss Alps called Leysin. Beautifully situated in the mountains and not far from Lake Geneva, the temperatures here are in the mid-20s during the day, only to drop down to single digits at night. Leysin has a humid continental climate with annual precipitation averaging 1,481 mm, which equals more than twice that of London. Because the village is situated at an altitude of 1,565 m above sea level the average annual temperature is only 3.9°C.

RMetS Podcast - Episode 8 - El Niño: Interview with Adam Scaife theWeather Club Fri, 08/06/2018 - 10:14

Professor Liz Bentley sits down to interview Adam Scaife, Head of Long Rang Prediction at the Met Office and Professor at Exeter University, about the El Niño and La Niña, the largest seasonal fluctuation in the Earth's atmosphere.

After the interview Liz and Chloe discuss the two conferences that we are holding in York in July - The Atmospheric Science Conference 2018 (3rd - 4th July) and The Evolution of Science: Past, Present and Future, or conference for Students and Early Career Scientists.

What is El Niño - Southern Oscillation?

What is El Niño? 

The El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a large-scale climatic phenomenon that originates in the tropical Pacific but affects global climate patterns. The warm phase is known as El Niño and the cold phase is La Niña. El Niño occurs irregularly every two to seven years and peaks around in winter. 

What causes an El Niño event?

Have you seen the climate spiral?

Photo: The picture is actually an animation, showing global temperature change since 1850.SourceEd Hawkins, ClimateLabBook


Climate scientist, Ed Hawkins from the University of Reading has produced a revolutionary way to illustrate global warming over the past 160 years. Ed's graphic's has been retweeted more than 15,000 times, and now Jay Alder, from the USGS has stretched the the spiral out to model data out to 2100.

Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation

Generalised model of thermohaline circulation, adapted from NASA.

The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is a system of currents in the Atlantic Ocean, including the Gulf Stream that circulates a vast amount of heat from the tropics towards the North Pole disseminating the cold, saline, dense waters towards the Tropics and even further south towards the South Pole. The figure above captures that in a generalised worldwide model of thermohaline (thermo- referring to temperature and –haline referring to salt content) circulation.