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EQUIP Outputs


News Archive for the ‘News’ Category

  • EQUIP Outputs

    January 27th, 2015

    The EQUIP Special Issue is nearly complete, the following list includes all the Special Issue published papers.

    EQUIP Publications List

    • Calel, R., Stainforth, D.A., and Dietz, S, (2013),Tall tales and Fat tails: The science and economics of extreme warming, Climatic Change, 1-15.
    • Caminadea, C., Kovatsc, S., Rocklovd, J., Tompkinse, A.M., Morseb, A.P., Colón-Gonzáleze, F.J., Stenlundd, H., Martensf, P and Lloyd, S.J, (2014), Impact of climate change on global malaria distribution, (2014), PNAS March 4, vol. 111 no. 9 3286-3291.
    • Challinor, A. J (2011). Fully EQUIPed – how climate scientists are quantifying uncertainty, Planet Earth, Spring 2011, 12-13.
    • Challinor, A.J, (2011). Agriculture: Forecasting food, Nature Climate Change, Volume:1, Pages: 103–104.
    • Challinor, A.J, et al (2010) Environ. Res. Lett. 5 034012.
    • Challinor, A.J., Simelton, E.S., Fraser, E.D.G., Hemming, D., Collins, M (2010) Increased crop failure due to climate change: assessing adaptation options using models and socio-economic data for wheat in China, Environmental Research Letters, 5.
    • Challinor, A.J., Thornton, P., Smith, M.S (2013) Use of agro-climate ensembles for quantifying uncertainty and informing adaptation, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 170, pp.2-7.
    • Challinor, A.J., Watson, J., Lobell, D.B., Howden, S.M., Smith, D.R., Chhetri, N, (2014) A meta-analysis of crop yield under climate change and adaptation Nature Climate Change, Volume:4, Pages: 287–291.
    • Collins, M., Fricker, T., Hermanson, L (2011). From observations to forecasts – Part 9: what is decadal forecasting?, Royal Meteorological Society, Volume 66, Issue 6, pages 160–164.
    • Ferro, C, (2013) Fair scores for ensemble forecasts, Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 140: 1917–1923, July 2014.
    • Ferro, C.A.T & Fricker, T.E (2012). A bias-corrected decomposition of the Brier score, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, Volume 138, Issue 668, pages 1954–1960.
    • Fricker, T.E., Ferro, C.A.T., Stephenson, D.B, (2013). Three recommendations for evaluating climate predictions, Meteorological Applications, Volume 20, Issue 2, pages 246–255.
    • Goddard, L., Kumar, A., Solomon, A., Smith, D., Boer ,G., Gonzalez, P., Kharin, V., Merryfield W., Deser, C., Mason, S. J., Kirtman, B. P., Msadek, R., Sutton, R., Hawkins, E., Fricker, T., Hegerl, G., Ferro, C. A. T., Stephenson, D. B., Meehl, G. A., Stockdale, T., Burgman, R., Greene A. M., Kushnir, Y., Newman, M., Carton, J., Fukumori, I., Delworth, T, (2012) A verification framework for interannual-to-decadal predictions experiments, Climate Dynamics, Volume 40, Issue 1-2, pp 245-272.
    • Hanlon, H. M., Hegerl, G. C., Tett, S. F. B. & Smith, D. M. (2013), Can a decadal forecasting system predict temperature extreme indices? Journal of Climate. 26, 11, p. 3728-3744.
    • Hanlon, H. M., Morak, S., Hegerl, G. C (2013), Detection and Prediction of mean and extreme European summer temperatures with a multi-model ensemble, Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Volume 118, Issue 17, pages 9631–9641, 16 September 2013.
    • Hanlon, H., Hegerl, G. C., and Tett, S.F.B (2014): Near-term prediction of impact relevant heatwave extremes. Climatic Change, 1-16.
    • Hanlon, H., Morak, S., Heger,l G (2013), Detection and Prediction of mean and extreme European Summer temperatures with a CMIP5 multi-model ensemble, Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Volume 118, Issue 17, pages 9631–9641, 16 September 2013.
    • Hawkins, E., Fricker, T.E., Challinor, A.J., Ferro, C.A.T., Ho, C.K & Osborne, T.M, 2013, ‘Increasing influence of heat stress on French maize yields from the 1960s to the 2030s’, Global Change Biology, 19, 937.
    • Hawkins, E., Osborne,T.M., Kit Ho, C., Challinor, A.J,(2013). Calibration and bias correction of climate projections for crop modelling: An idealised case study over Europe, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, Volume 170, Pages 19–31.
    • Hegerl, G.C., Hanlon, H., Beierkuhnlein, C, (2011). Climate Science: Elusive extremes Nature Geoscience Volume: 4, Pages:142–143.
    • Lopez, A., Suckling, E. B., Otto, F.E.L., Lorenz, A., Rowlands, D., Allen, M.R, (2014) Towards a typology for constrained climate model forecasts. Climatic Change, 1-15.
    • Lorenz, S., Dessai, S., Paavola J., Forster, P.M, (2013). The communication of physical science uncertainty in European National Adaptation Strategies. Climatic Change, 1-13.
    • Otto, F. E. L., Massey, N., Van Oldenborgh, G. J., Jones, R. G., Allen, M. R. (2012). Reconciling two approaches to attribution of the 2010 Russian heat wave, Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 39, Issue 4.
    • Otto, F.E.L., Ferro, C.A.T., Fricker, T.E., Suckling, E.B, (2013) On judging the credibility of climate predictions Climatic Change, 1-14.
    • Otto, F.E.L., Jones, R.G., Halladay, K. and Allen, M.R. (2013) Attribution of changes in precipitation patterns in African rainforests. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, B, 368(1625).
    • Otto, F.E.L., Rosier, S.M., Allen, M.R., Massey, N.R., Rye, C.J. and Quintana, J.I. (2014) Attribution analysis of high precipitation events in summer in England and Wales over the last decade. Climatic Change, 1-15.
    • Saux-Picart, S., Allen, J.I., Butenschön, M., Artioli, Y., de Mora, L., Wakelin, S.L. and Holt, J.T. (2014) What can ecosystem models tell us about the risk of eutrophication in the North Sea? Climatic Change, 1-15.
    • Smith, L.A., Suckling, E.B., Thompson, E., Maynard, T. and Du, H. (2015) Towards improving the framework for probabilistic forecast evaluation. Climatic Change, in press.
    • Smith, L A. and Stern, N (2011) Uncertainty in science and its role in climate policy, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 369 (1956). 4818-4841.
    • Suckling, E.B and Smith, L A, (2013): An Evaluation of Decadal Probability Forecasts from State-of-the-Art Climate Models*. J. Climate, 26, 9334–9347.
    • Tang, S and Dessai, S, (2012), Usable Science? The U.K. Climate Projections 2009 and Decision Support for Adaptation Planning, Weather, Climate and Society, 4.
    • 31. Vermuelen, S. J., Challinor, A.J., Thornton, P.K., Campbell, B.M., Eriyagama, N., Vertoort, J.M., Kinyangi, J., Jarvis, A., Läderach, P., Ramirez-Villegas, J., Nicklin, K.J., Hawkins, E., Smith D.R (2013). Addressing uncertainty inadaptation planning for agriculture. PNAS, Volume 110, (21), Pages 8357-8362.
    • Watson, J., Challinor, A.J (2013) The relative importance of rainfall, temperature and yield data for a regional-scale crop model, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 170, pp.47-57.
    • Watson, J., Challinor, A.J., Fricker, T.E., Ferro, A.T, (2014). Comparing the effects of calibration and climate errors on a statistical crop model and a process-based crop model, Climatic Change.
    • Wesselink, A, Challinor, A.J., Watson, J., Beven, K., Allen, I., Hanlon, H., Lopez, A., Lorenz, S., Otto, F., Morse, A., Rye, C., Saux-Picard, S., Stainforth, D and Suckling, E (2014) Equipped to deal with uncertainty in climate and impacts predictions: lessons from internal peer review. Climatic Change.
    • Wesselink, A., Challinor A.J., Watson, J., Beven, K., Allen, I., Hanlon, H., Lopez, A., Lorenz, S.,  Otto, F., Morse, A., Rye, C., Saux-Picard, S., Stainforth, D., Suckling, E, 2014. Equipped to deal with uncertainty in climate and impacts predictions: lessons from internal peer review. Climatic Change, 1-14.
  • EQUIP Project Conclusions

    July 22nd, 2014

    The two page leaflet presents the main conclusions from the EQUIP project including recommendations on good practice.

    Equip Leaflet

  • Policy and Practice Note on Uncertainty

    January 20th, 2014

    In collaboration with LWEC, EQUIP has produced a policy and practice note on dealing with uncertainty in climate and impacts.

  • Embracing uncertainty in science: What do we need to know to make decisions, and do we know it?

    June 28th, 2013

    A new guide from the charity Sense about Science has been launched today at the World Conference of Science Journalists. The guide, on Making sense of uncertainty: why uncertainty is part of science (, challenges the notion that uncertainty is a bad thing, presenting it instead as a mark of sound science. The guide aims to dispel the misconceptions in the media, policy and public spheres about scientific uncertainty in, for example, climate science, disease modelling, epidemiology, weather forecasting and the prediction of natural hazards.

    The guide contains contributions from numerous EQUIP scientists, including Andy Challinor, principle investigator for EQUIP, who comments on the importance of starting with the problem in order to select which uncertainties are relevant for a particular decision.

    Read the press report here:
    embracing uncertainty in science post

  • Special Issue

    April 10th, 2013

    The Special Issue brings together climate, statistical and impacts analyses in order to improve methods for quantifying, reducing and communicating uncertainty in predictions of climate and its impacts.

    Climate models have for many years been run as ensembles, in order to capture the uncertainty associated with seasonal to multi-decadal prediction. Whilst it is increasingly common for climate impacts studies to be conducted using ensembles, there is generally less emphasis on capturing the full range of uncertainty. Further, it can be argued that it is not always desirable to do so. By bringing together a range of modellers and statisticians we have been able to conduct end-to-end (i.e. climate to impacts) analyses of uncertainty in models and data.

  • Strengthening resilience through improved treatment of uncertainty in weather, climate and impacts

    April 9th, 2013

    Strengthening resilience through improved treatment of uncertainty in weather, climate and impacts March 13th and 14th 2013, London.

    The meeting reviewed EQUIP progress and took a forward-looking view of uncertainty quantification at both weather and climate timescales. Sessions focused on Managing uncertainty in climate and its impacts, Quantifying uncertainty on timescales of days to seasons and Communication of uncertainty and knowledge exchange. The event was attended by participants from research organisations, funding agencies, government, development agencies and insurance organisations.

    Please click on the link below for a copy of the agenda:
    Final EQUIP Meeting Agenda

    Presentation slides from the speakers are available below.

    Day 1: Managing uncertainty in climate and its impacts

    Session 1: Methods for quantifying uncertainty (Chair: Chris Ferro, Exeter)

    Challenges in quantifying uncertainty using state of the art climate models – D Sexton

    Can we really reduce uncertainty in climate forecasts – J Christensen

    Testing climate forecasts – M Allen (pending approval)

    Session 2: Evaluating skill and relevance (Chair: Helen Hanlon, Met Office)

    Judging the credibility of climate projections – C Ferro (please email for slides)

    Assessing skill from retrospective forecasts – D Smith

    Near-term prediction of impact-relevant heatwave indices – H Hanlon

    Equipping Users While Maintaining the Credibility of Science – D Stainforth

    Session 3: Towards robust climate change risk assessment (Chair: Jim Hall, Oxford)

    Climate change risk assessment. missing the wood for the trees – R Wilby

    Climate change risk assessment. lessons from EQUIP – A Challinor

    Day 2: Quantifying uncertainty on timescales of days to seasons

    Session 1: Quantifying sub-seasonal uncertainty (Chair: Steve Woolnough, Reading)
    On the reliability of seasonal forecasts – A Weisheimer

    Variability of West African weather systems – C Thorncroft

    Session 2: Improved impacts modelling (Chair: Andy Challinor, Leeds)

    Hydrology weather and groundwater – R Taylor

    The use of a high resolution weather ensemble for West Africa for assessing crop productivity – L Garcia-Carreras

    Session 3: Communication of uncertainty and knowledge exchange (Chair: Emma Visman, KLC, and Andy Morse, Liverpool)

    How well can climate information support efforts to strengthen community resilience – A Morse

    Supporting the engagement of climate science across the range of humanitarian development and community users – E Visman

    Supporting the engagement of climate science across the range of humanitarian development and community users – E Visman

    Exchange between climate scientists and humanitarian and development policymakers and community users: demonstration studies in Kenya and Senegal – E Visman (pending approval)

    Climate information to support agricultural livelihoods – R Ewbank

    Potential for using weather and climate information to support community resilience across timescales – M Kilavi

  • EQUIP Contribution to IPCC

    December 18th, 2012

    EQUIP scientists have been working on the IPCC Assessment Report, due for publication in 2014.  Authors on the first working group, which focuses on climate science, have submitted two rounds of drafts. Working group II focuses on impacts and adaptation, and authors are working towards a deadline of early next year for the second drafts.  EQUIP is contributing to:

    Long-term Climate Change; Projections, Commitments and Irreversibility; Detection and Attribution of Climate Change; Climate Phenomena and their Relevance for Future Regional Climate Change; Food Production Systems and Food Security; Foundations for Decision-making.




  • Translating climate science for humanitarian, disaster risk-reduction and development organisations

    July 23rd, 2012

    Several members of the EQUIP team contributed to a workshop on Tolerating the Right Kinds of Uncertainty,  hosted at the Wellcome Trust in London by UKCDS on 28 May 2012.

    The workshop contributed to the activities of the Humanitarian Futures Programme (HFP) at KCL aiming to develop integrated and systematic approaches to strengthening resilience in vulnerable communities in Africa  through supporting the ways in which these communities are able to access, understand and act on scientific information about the weather and climate in emergencies as well as in the longer term. Linked to a NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellowship held by Emma Visman, this one-day event provided a space for discussion between climate scientists and the users of climate information, including humanitarian, disaster risk reduction and development organisations, policy makers and African community/partner organisations.

    Contributions from the EQUIP team came from Myles Allen (University of Oxford), Andy Morse (University of Liverpool), David Stainforth (LSE), and Peter Stott (UK Met Office). Perspectives from climate science were also heard from Mike Harrison (University of Oxford), Dominic Kniveton (University of Sussex) and Tim Palmer (University of Oxford/ECMWF). Yvan Biot from the Department for International Development (DfID) provided a policy perspective, and Benedict Dempsey from Save the Children, Richard Ewbank from Christian Aid and Clare Harris from HelpAge International provided insights from NGO perspectives. Input from community and partner organisations included Abere Mihretie from the Anti-Malaria Association Ethiopia and Samuel Mwangi from the Kenya Meteorological Department.

    The focus of the workshop was on discussing and sharing understandings about the nature of uncertainty in weather and climate predictions and the extent to which science could be confident in the reliability of the information it produced. The kinds of weather and climate information that were of relevance to decision-makers were also addressed.  Reoccurring themes relating to barriers of communication emerging during the workshop included:

    i)                     The importance of recognising and addressing differences in the meanings of commonly used terms (e.g. attribution) and less commonly used terms (e.g. probability) across the user communities;

    ii)                   The importance of acknowledging and coordinating different understandings and interpretations of uncertainty;

    iii)                  The need to develop channels to enable dialogue about the types of weather and climate information required by decision makers and the most appropriate formats and technologies for transmitting information;

    iv)                  The significance of coordinating the tensions between different organisational needs and expectations, including the effect of an organisation’s methods of accountability on decision-making practices, and the measuring of impact.

    v)                   The need for increased investment in the communication of climate science for user-communities.

    Drawing on the day’s discussions, representatives from DfID, EQUIP, ESRC, GO Science, NERC, Save the Children and UK Met Office drew the workshop to a close with a panel discussion on how their organisations could support the development of a systematic framework  for translating weather and climate science into information to support decision-making. Suggestions included opportunities for funding, for identifying channels to showcase what climate science had to offer, and for developing and continuing dialogue with appropriate brokers of climate information.

    A short film on “Decoding Science – Reducing Risk” commissioned by GO Science-Humanitarian Futures Programme summarises the discussions of this workshop on Tolerating Uncertainty with a further workshop on Measuring Real Impact in June 2012.

  • Recent Publications

    April 30th, 2012

    “A bias-corrected decomposition of the Brier score”, C A T Ferro and T E Fricker, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, DOI: 10.1002/qj.1924 22/03/2012

    “Reconciling two approaches to attribution of the 2010 Russian heatwave”, Friederike E L Otto, Neil Massey, Geert Jan van Oldenborgh, Richard G Jones and Myles R Allen, Geophysical Research Letters, 39, L04702, doi:10.1029/2011GL050422 21/02/2012

    “Uncertainty in science and its role in climate policy”, Leonard A Smith & Nicholas Stern, Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society A (2011), 369, 1-24 doi: 10.1098/rsta.2011.0149 13/12/2011

  • EQUIP Special Issue

    February 14th, 2012

    As part of our special issue, we are developing an uncertainty framework – for details contact