About our Research

“Climate change is arguably the biggest challenge facing people this century”
(NERC Strategy 2007-2012: Climate System Science Theme)   
Tillicoultry flood by John Chroston  It is likely that changes to the intensity and frequency of climatic and hydrologic extremes will have  large impacts on our communities. The CONVEX project focusses on the region of southern Britain in particular, using observational evidence, and understanding from new modelling capabilities to explore key uncertainties (e.g. rainfall mechanisms, model parameterisations and model resolution) and quantify the deficiencies in the simulation of extreme rainfall processes by climate models. This will provide a better understanding, essential for improved model predictions of extreme rainfall change under global warming. 

 The key tasks in CONVEX include:

1. Exploring UK (and other European) observed precipitation datasets to understand and identify the spatial and temporal characteristics of extreme rainfall.

2. Assessing the deficiencies of climate and numerical weather prediction (NWP) model parameterisations when simulating extreme rainfall.

3. Assessing the influence of model resolution on the representation of extreme rainfall by running 1.5km-resolution NWP and 50km, 12km and 1.5km climate models.  Simulations at this fine resolution are vital for the estimation of changes to local scale convective rainfall.

4. Developing an understanding of the relationships (and associated processes) between large-scale predictors and extreme rainfall on different spatial and temporal scales, including analysis of the first climate change simulation of a 1.5km RCM.

5. Assessing the strengths and limitations of uncertainty estimates and providing new seasonal estimates of change to extreme rainfall to help inform future adaptation strategies for flood risk management as well as providing improved understanding of processes which generate extreme rainfall which is vital for future climate model development.
Photograph by John Chroston