Satellite image of the Earth.

Overview by our Chief Scientist

Weather and climate prediction

Over the last decade or so, predicting the weather and climate has emerged as one of the most important areas of scientific endeavour.

This is partly because climate change is now widely accepted and there is a rapidly increasing realisation that it will affect every person in the world profoundly - either directly or indirectly.

It is also partly because the remarkable increase in skill of current weather forecasts has made society more and more dependent on them, from day-to-day, for a whole range of decision-making.

At the cutting edge of modelling

The challenge for those involved in research at the Met Office is to remain at the cutting edge of modelling and predicting the evolution of the atmosphere, oceans and fully coupled climate system.

We need to be at the cutting edge so we can provide an increasingly accurate and reliable service across all sectors that are vulnerable to the effects of adverse weather, ocean and climatic conditions - now or in the future.

Our research has to span an ever-increasing range of science disciplines - from fundamental atmospheric physics to ecosystem behaviour.  

The importance of collaboration

Collaboration will be essential for delivering the predictive capability that the Met Office will require in the coming decade, if we are to deliver a world-class weather and climate service.

Our role as an integrator and facilitator of weather and climate modelling, research and prediction - within the UK academic sector and, increasingly, at an international level - is very important to us. The Joint Weather and Climate Research Programme (JWCRP) with the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) is already an integral part of our research programme.

Going forward, building stronger partnerships is at the core of our science strategy, and this section of our website is a vital part of communicating our science to those who work alongside us.