Please join us for an Environmental Forum with Professor Stephen Belcher, Chief Scientist, Met Office, UK.
How Can Climate Science Help the Climate Crisis?
The impacts of climate change are already evident both in the UK and worldwide, through changes in extreme weather, diminishing snow and ice and rising sea levels. The Paris Agreement in December 2015 marked a turning point in climate negotiations with 195 governments agreeing to take global action to tackle climate change.
As a result, the focus of climate science research at the Met Office has changed to reflect these changing drivers: moving from proving that climate change is happening to understanding the nature of the change. Robust, impartial and targeted climate science is needed to manage the risks of climate change, including developing strategies for lowering greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for the changes to our climate which are unavoidable.
Professor Stephen Belcher is the Met Office Chief Scientist and provides leadership of their scientific research and development.
Stephen obtained his PhD in fluid dynamics from the University of Cambridge in 1990 and has subsequently published over 100 peer-reviewed papers on the fluid dynamics of atmospheric and oceanic turbulence. Having completed his PhD he became a research fellow at Stanford and Cambridge Universities. In 1994 he moved to the Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading, where he served as Head of the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences between 2007 and 2010. In 2010 he became the Joint Met Office Chair in Weather Systems. This role gave him a taster of working closely with the Met Office, and in 2012 he joined the Met Office as Director of the Met Office Hadley Centre.
Stephen led the evolution of the Met Office Hadley Centre to focus on climate science and services: motivated by the need to provide governments, industry and society with actionable advice, i.e. ‘climate services’. He was a driving force behind the initiation of the Newton Fund's 'Climate Science for Service Partnership China' (CSSP China), in which scientists from both China and the UK are now working together to develop fundamental climate science and climate services.