The overarching objective of ACSIS is:
To enhance the UK’s capability to detect, attribute and predict changes in the North Atlantic Climate System, comprising: the North Atlantic Ocean, the atmosphere above it including its composition, and interactions with Arctic Sea Ice and the Greenland Ice Sheet.
ACSIS will be delivered by a partnership between six NERC Centres (NCAS, NOC, BAS, NCEO, CPOM, PML) and the UK Met Office. It will exploit the partners’ unique capabilities in observing and simulating the atmosphere including its composition, the ocean, the cryosphere, and the fully coupled climate system.
The observational component will bring together records from Earth-based (e.g. Cape Verde observatory, FAAM flights, RAPID, Argo, OSNAP) and space-based (e.g. Cryosat, MetOP) platforms with a focus on the sustained observations that are necessary to measure changes on multi-year timescales. A key dimension of the opportunity is that time series of sufficient length, for multiple variables, are becoming available for the first time. The modelling component will involve core simulations with cutting-edge atmosphere, ocean, sea ice, chemistry and aerosol models using the latest parameterizations and unprecedented resolution, as well as bespoke experiments to address Objectives 3 and 4. ACSIS will work closely with the NERC-Met Office UKESM programme on Earth System Modelling, and will contribute to and benefit from UK participation in international observing programmes such as UK-US RAPID, EU ATLANTOS and Global Atmospheric Watch, and modelling programmes such as CMIP6 and EU PRIMAVERA.1. To provide the UK science community with sustained observations, data syntheses, leading-edge numerical simulations and analysis tools to facilitate world-class research on changes in the NA climate system and their impacts.
Specific objectives are:
- To provide a quantitative, multivariate, description of how the NA climate system is changing.
- To determine the primary drivers and processes that are shaping change in the NA climate system now and will shape change in the near future.
- To determine the extent to which future changes in the NA climate system are predictable.
The legacy of ACSIS will include:
- new long-term multivariate observational datasets and syntheses;
- new modelling capabilities and simulations with unprecedented fidelity;
- and new multi-disciplinary teams of researchers working together across NERC Centres and the Met Office, including enhanced engagement with the wider NERC community.
ACSIS will provide advances in understanding and predicting changes in the NA climate system that can be exploited in further research and related activities, for example to assess the impact of these changes on the UK - e.g. in terms of the consequences for hazardous weather risk, the environment and businesses. ACSIS outputs will also inform policy on climate change adaptation and air quality.