GLOBAL VOICES085gas emissions are very likely to be the cause.MEETING NEW CHALLENGESAlthough this evidence supports the case for awarming world globally, the challenges we facewill be felt at a local level and so thequestions being asked by policymakersare changing. How exactly will theclimate change from place to place? Transport infrastructure, hospitaladmissions, energy consumption andmany other weather-critical societalneeds are impacted, not by globalaverage temperatures, but by the dailyand seasonal swings in temperature locally,and more critically by temperature extremes.In response to this, the Met Office has led aninternational initiative to create a new global surfacetemperature dataset at daily or even shortertimescales, to tell us about how our local climate ischanging in ways that affect us directly. Similarly, many of the most profound impacts ofclimate change will be felt through changes in rainfall- too much, too little, at the wrong time, in the wrongplace. This means that our models must be able tocapture the weather systems which produce thatrainfall, and we are working hard to develop models atmuch higher resolution, closer to those we use forweather forecasting. Such models should be able toanswer key questions around the impacts of climatechange, such as whether the Indian monsoon will failor whether spells of extreme drought or flood, with alltheir related consequences, will change in frequencyor intensity.?
We know that some level of change is nowunavoidable, and it is the responsibility of us all to think about what a changing climate will mean for our health, our businesses and our way of life. By planning for the adaptation we need now wecan ensure that we are best placed to meet thechallenges of climate change head-on. And byunderstanding how climate change is already adversely affecting us, and will continue to do so, wecan provide the scientific basis for reducing emissionsas rapidly as possible. DECISIONS IN AN UNCERTAIN WORLDThe Met Office occupies a unique position in beingable to advise government and business on the risksassociated with hazardous weather in the short term,and the threats, and indeed opportunities, over thecoming decades as our climate changes. The range ofbusinesses already addressing climate change isfascinating - from global banks protecting their086GLOBAL VOICES" "THE RANGE OFBUSINESSES ALREADY ADDRESSING CLIMATE CHANGEIS FASCINATING -FROM GLOBALBANKS PROTECTINGTHEIR INVESTMENTS, TOTRANSPORT ORGANISATIONSWANTING TO KNOWIF THE ROADS AREGOING TO MELTGRAPH 1: INDICATORS OF A WARMING WORLD A range of observations that are all increasing over several decades. All these indicators would be expectedto increase under climate change. Each of the different coloured lines in each graph represents anindependently collected set of data.Source: Met Office/NOAAinvestments, to transport organisations wanting toknow if the roads are going to melt, if railways will beaffected by sea level rise, or airport usage change.Working in the Met Office is an ideal place to see howdifferent organisations are dealing with theopportunities and challenges that climate changepresents. Some organisations are just starting downthe road, whereas others have been fully engaged inthe process over the last few years. We have beenassessing the possible impacts of climate change withthe CBI Task Force -a group of leading UK companiesincluding Tesco, BP, Barclays and British Airways -and identifying how businesses will need to adapt toour changing climate to reduce the impacts, but also totake advantage of the substantial opportunities thatemerge as we move to a greener and more sustainableway of life.Some would argue that the demand for information onhow climate change will affect our future outstrips thecurrent understanding of the science and the