A Gentle Introduction to Climate Modelling, Observing and Projections

The BCS Edinburgh Branch Sidney Michaelson Memorial Lecture (about Sidney Michaelson)

In partnership with the Edinburgh International Science Festival.

Wednesday 15th April 2009, 8:00 pm.

Speaker: Professor Simon Tett, Chair of Earth System Dynamics and Modelling, University of Edinburgh.

Venue: University of Edinburgh Informatics Forum, 10 Crichton Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9AB - map (click on Informatics Forum in the list of buildings).

Admission by ticket only - available from the Edinburgh International Science Festival: £6 (£4 concessions). Online booking.


Climate change has been a topic of intense public, media and political interest. Concerns about future climate change have caused large policy changes with legal targets of a 60-80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050. These will cause enormous changes in the way in which we generate electricity, heat our homes and move around. In this talk Professor Tett will give a gentle introduction to climate modelling and show how they are used to project future climate change. He will also talk about observations of climate change and show they all point to a warming world. Through comparison of model and observations he will show why the climate research community believes it is likely that humans have caused much of the observed warming.

About the speaker


Professor Simon Tett is the Chair of Earth System dynamics and modelling at the University of Edinburgh where he also, in 1992, received his PhD. Professor Tett previously worked at the Hadley Centre as a research scientist where, with others, showed that human emissions of carbon dioxide were likely to be responsible for 20th century warming. He managed a team of scientists who created datasets of historical climate change from the atmosphere, sea and land surface and the sub-surface ocean with comprehensive uncertainty estimates. He also carried out and analysed simulations of the climate of the last 500 years.

Professor Tett has published more than 50 peer-reviewed papers, won the Norber-Gerbier WMO prize twice (1997, 1998), a NOAA prize for best scientific paper (1998), the L G Groves prize for Meteorology (2006) and gave the Margary lecture to the Royal Meteorological Society in 2007. He contributed to the last three IPCC assessments, provided scientific advice to the UK government, is a member of NERC's peer review college and a National Centre for Atmospheric Science and National Centre for Earth Observation Principal Investigator.

Professor Tett is a Chartered Meteorologist.