Climate Impacts LINK project

the climate impacts LINK Project (LINK) provides climate model data harvested at the Met Office Hadley Centre (MOHC) for use by researchers, institutions, companies, and political organizations. These users are located both in the United Kingdom and abroad; the data from LINK impact many fields such as marine biology, aviation, civil engineering, public policy, economics, and atmospheric sciences.

LINK is supported financially by the United Kingdom's Department of the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), based in London, England. DEFRA, in fact, established LINK in 1991, and assigned the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UAE) to handle the data. The task became too large for the computer systems at the UAE Climate Research Unit and the contract was sublet to the United Kingdom's British Atmospheric Data Centre (BADC). The CRU maintained the ancillary data responsibilities until the year 2006 when those, too, were taken over by the BADC. Subsequently, the duties were subcontracted to the MOHC by the BADC, though still overseen by the BADC.

The BADC, overseen by the United Kingdom National Environment Research Council (NERC), acts as the chief data center for Atmospheric Sciences and reports to the NERC. It was established in 1994 to take over the responsibilities of the former Geophysical Data Facility. At the time, it was funded by NERC's predecessor, the Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) and generally supported research concerned with the atmosphere within approximately 6-249 m. (10-400 km.) above the Earth's surface. Today, the broader NERC supports all atmospheric science.

DEFRA works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions both domestically and internationally. Its other chief goal of the Department is to foster a clean, healthy environment for people to live and work in. To achieve this second goal, DEFRA is a strong proponent for sustainable development. It works to achieve this in rural settings, urban communities, within the European Union, and beyond.

LINK uses several models to analyze the data at the MOHC. These models include the HadCM2 (Had-ley Centre Coupled Model versions 2) and HadCM2 (for global datasets), HadRM2 and HadRM3 (high resolution regional atmospheric models), and Had-GEM1 (an integrated model for both types of data). The HadCM2 and HadCM3 (Hadley Centre Coupled Model versions 3) models were used for the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Second and Third Assessment Reports to the United Nations, respectively. The newer HadGEM1 along with the HadCM3 models were both used for the Fourth Assessment Report. The regional HadRM2 and HadRM3 models cover European climates and the latter contributed data to the United Kingdom Climate Impacts Programme 2002 Scientific Report on Climate Change Scenarios for the United Kingdom (UKCIP02). The 2008 report (UKCIP08) will also use data from the HadRM3 model.

SEE ALSO: CLIMAP Project; Climate Action Network; Climate Change Knowledge Network; Climate Models; European Union; Greenhouse Gases; Hadley, George; United Kingdom; United Nations.

BIBLIOGRApHY. M. Floyd-Wilson, ed., Environment and Embodiment in Early Modern England (Early Modern Literature in History) (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007); Great Britain and the Environment Agency, The State of the Environment of England and Wales: Fresh Waters (Stationery Office Books, 1998); Great Britain and Environment Agency, The State of the Environment of England and Wales: Coasts (Stationery Office Books, 1999).

Claudia Winograd University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

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