The issue

Changes in climate – complex changes, involving interactions of physical, chemical, and biological processes of the atmosphere, ocean, and land surface – are already having widespread impacts on societies and ecosystems. Understanding how the land surface interacts with the atmosphere is therefore critical for climate change prediction, adaptation and mitigation.

Our role

Our land surface science is underpinned by detailed process understanding in hydrology, ecology, micro-meteorology, biogeochemistry, and, critically, their interactions. These processes are modelled within the Joint UK Land Environment Simulation (JULES) system, coordinated by UKCEH, which provides the community with a unique UK land surface model for accurate weather and climate prediction.

Our commitment

  • To improve forecasting of extreme weather events, enabling society to better prepare and respond.
  • To advance land surface models, by improving representation of groundwater, irrigation, evaporation, large-scale fires, and the nitrogen cycle.
  • To better represent the Arctic system in land surface modelling, given the rapid climate-driven changes in this ecosystem, and understand its role in exacerbating change.

Our research

Fieldwork on the PEATBOG project
Peat bogs 'tougher than we thought' but may still be vulnerable to rapid or extreme environmental change
Mountain © Shutterstock
JULES: Simulating responses to weather and climate change on local, national and global scales.
Scientific equipment at Auchencorth Moss field site
Measuring surface/atmosphere exchange fluxes and air pollution concentrations to provide the science base for policy