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Photo of Prof Adam Scaife

Prof Adam Scaife



Adam carries out research on climate variability and climate prediction at the University and collaborates with other climate scientists worldwide.  His main interests are in long range forecasting, mechanisms of climate variability and simulation of climate using physically based climate models.  Adam has made significant advances in seasonal and decadal forecasting with his research group.

Adam joined the university as Honorary Professor in 2014 and then Professor in 2017.  He is also head of long range prediction at the Met Office and has over 30 years experience in climate modelling. His work demonstrates exciting levels of skill in long range predictions of the North Atlantic Oscillation and UK and European winter weather. With colleagues in his research group this work has also uncovered a so-called 'signal to noise paradox' where climate models are better at predicting the real world than they are at predicting themselves.  Adam's work has helped to clarify what caused changes in European climate from the cold blocked winters in the 1960s to the mild wet winters of the 1990s, the remote effects of El Niño, the stratosphere, solar variability and the global effects of year to year changes in tropical rainfall

Previously Adam worked on improving computer models of Earth's climate.  He simulated realistic Quasi-Biennial Oscillations in a climate model for the first time using parameterised gravity waves and his work has reduced some of the major errors in climate model simulations of the atmosphere - for example, errors in atmospheric 'blocking'. He also demonstrated with a colleague that the Brewer-Dobson circulation and the associated mass transfer across the tropopause is expected to increase under climate change.

Adam was recently awarded the Institute of Physics Edward Appleton Medal and the Royal Meteorological Society's Buchan Prize.  Previous awards include the Copernicus Medal and an American Geophysical Union ASCENT award for scientific research and leadership.  Adam co-chairs the World Climate Research Programme’s Grand Challenge on Near Term Climate Prediction and is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and the Royal Meteorological Society.