Nationality German
Year of selection2009
InstitutionUniversity of Leeds
CountryUnited Kingdom
RiskEnvironmental risks

Type of support

AXA Projects

Granted amount

450 520 €


4 years


“Robust projections of the latitude and strength of the Atlantic stormtrack near the British Isles are not yet possible, as the differences between models are too large.” This conclusion published in the 2009 UK Climate Projections was the starting point for Dr. Knippertz's project, which addresses the problem of climate model uncertainty. Indeed, despite the advances made in climate change research, the use of different approaches to measure storminess has made it very difficult to identify single causes of errors. In his project, Dr. Knippertz thus intends to clearly separate and quantify different sources of uncertainties in future projections of potentially damaging storms over Europe and to better understand the mechanisms that lead to disagreement between different models. In order to do so, the research team is evaluating short-term predictions of intense storms at different lead times using a wide range of weather and climate models. The project aims to find possible biases in storm intensity and track and to understand to what degree these biases depend on the resolution of the model.
Despite the enormous risk to European societies and (re)insurance companies associated with extreme cyclones, such an approach has never been used before and will help to improve future generations of forecast models. In this respect, the project will make a strong contribution to the World Weather Research Program THORPEX (The Observing System Research and Predictability Experiment). Indeed, according to Dr. Knippertz, the project aims to “build a bridge between scientists in climate-change impact research, atmospheric modeling, climate research and dynamical meteorology for the sake of a much more robust prediction of future windstorm impact across Europe.”

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