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Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research (HCCPR)

Named after George Hadley, the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research is a leading center for climate change research. It was founded in 1990 by then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher with the following aims:

  • To understand physical, chemical, and biological processing in the climate and to integrate that data into climate models.
  • To simulate global weather spanning 100 years into the past and future from the present.
  • To monitor climate change and its impacts on national security
  • To understand the specific factors related to climate change

The HCCPR is co-funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs. Funding for the HCCPR is difficult to follow because it comes from several sources. Besides the two mentioned above, money also comes from other UK government departments as well as from the European Commission. In 2012, for instance, HCCPR derived £2,413,000 of revenue from EU contracts. The HCCPR publishes an annual review of its accounts, though it can be difficult to follow. For the 2011/2012 accounting period, HCCPR had about £27,874,000 in operating costs as well as £9,311,000 in financing activities. Overall, total revenue for 2012 amounted to £196,212,000.


Research at the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research is divided into five basic areas. The easiest way to understand the scope of HCCPR research is to outline the activities as follows:

  1. Climate science
    • Ear System Science
    • Climate Modeling
    • Cryosphere and Ocean Research
    • Climate Impacts on various ecosystems and human activities
  2. Foundation science – Work on the basic physics, chemistry, and biology needed to create models and understand complex climate phenomena.
  3. Modeling
    • Dispersion Model – Called NAME for Numerical Atmospheric Dispersion Modeling Environment. NAME allows for the simulation of how gases are dispersed throughout the atmosphere over any distance or timeframe. This includes everything from greenhouse gas movement to airborne diseases.
    • Flow Over Hills Model – the Boundary Layer Above Stationary, Inhomogeneous Uneven Surfaces (BLASIUS) model helps to categorize how hills and mountains affect the movement of air masses and thus greenhouse gases, etc.
    • Large Eddy Model – Abbreviated LEM, this model is used to simulate atmospheric flows and cloud movement. It can help to model precipitation, polar clouds, etc.
    • Numerical Models in Meteorology – Various models that take into account sets of atmospheric variables and make predictions by stepping at intervals of a few minutes to produce predictions that span days or even years. Equations for these models take into account fluid dynamics of the atmosphere as well as physical processes such as cooling/drying, etc.
    • Ocean Models – Numerous models are used to create short range forecasts and climate descriptions as follows
      • ERSEM – Lower trophic-level marine ecosystem model that helps to model cycles of phytoplankton, bacteria, and zooplankton to track carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous, and silicate.
      • HadOCC – An ecosystem model that represents carbon in the ocean in terms of dissolved inorganic carbon and alkalinity. It is designed to model how human-produced carbon dioxide affects ocean systems.
      • NEMO – A collaborative effort used for  number of applications including seasonal forecasts and climate studies.
      • NEMOVAR
      • OSTIA – Sea surface temperature and sea ice modeling
      • POLCOMS
    • Unified Model – Abbreviated MetUM, this model pulls from a number of the above models to create short and long range forecasts as well as local, regional, and global analyses.
  4. Monitoring
    • Atmospheric trends – Measuring greenhouse gas and ozone depleting gas concentrations in the Northern Hemisphere
    • Climate indicators – Development of observational datasets regarding the current climate. It can be used by anyone who purchases a license.
  5. Weather science – The processing of observations to produce forecasts is the major mission of this particular project. Sub sections include:
    • Assimilation and Ensembles
    • Customer Applications
    • Numerical Modeling
    • Ocean Forecasting
    • Satellite Applications


Unlike some government agencies, the structure of the HCCPR is such that it funds its activities through the sale of products. There are advantages and disadvantages to this approach. Among the advantages is the fact that priority is given to the most useful research, which eliminates waste and helps focus efforts. On the other hand, catering to private climates or specific needs means that research tends to be focused on immediate results rather than long-term projects. The other major drawback is that much of the collected data is proprietary. For those without the financial means to access this data, it means the HCCPR is basically a private enterprise. This contrasts sharply with much of the work done at institutions like NOAA in the U.S., where most of the data is considered public and is feely available.

To support its work, the HCCPR sales products that fit into the following categories:

  • Climate Services – These tend to be products purchased by the UK government for environmental planning and conservation purposes
  • Defence
    • Supporting military operations
    • Developing for future climate conditions
  • Health
    • COPD forecasts
    • Pollen and Asthma
    • UV, sun health, etc.
  • Industry
    • Weather and climate services for anticipating energy supply/demand changes
    • Financial services
    • Data products for things like wind farm site selection, solar site selection, etc.
  • International Services – Aimed at governments needing to plan for climate change
    • Disaster reduction
    • Capacity Building
    • Climate Adaptation
  • Multi-Media
    • Weather broadcasting
    • Graphics
    • Educational Material
  • Public Sector – Most of these services are funded by taxpayers
    • Severe weather management
    • Contingency planning
  • Transport – A combination of public and private sources
    • Aviation
    • Marine
    • Road
    • Rail