Pictured above left to right are: Dr Richard Betts (Head of Climate Impacts, Met Office), Professor Peter Cox (University of Exeter, Met Office Chair in Climate System Dynamics), Pete Falloon (Met Office Climate Impact Scientist), Janice Kay (Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research, University of Exeter).

Exeter launches international climate change conference

150 of the world’s leading climate change experts met in Exeter today for a major international conference organised by the University of Exeter and the Met Office.

From 22 to 24 September scientists from the UK, Europe, USA and Australia are sharing their expertise on the impacts of climate change and how we might adapt to the challenges it presents.

Held at the University of Exeter, the conference focuses on improving predictions of climate change and developing new technology to tackle its effects. Sessions will also look at the impacts of global warming on wildlife and the natural environment. Political implications will be addressed through discussions focusing on policy-making and how this relates to our attitudes and behaviour.

The latest research is being presented by the University of Exeter and Met Office as well as other organisations, including the universities of Harvard, Oxford and Manchester, the Environment Agency, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research Natural England and the RSPB.

Professor Peter Cox said: “Exeter has a growing reputation as a city where internationally-renowned climate change research happens. This is largely a result of the two organisations running this conference. The University is investing millions in climate change research, while the Met Office Hadley Centre is leading international research on this issue. Today as we launch this event we hope to put Exeter firmly on the map as a world-leader in developing our understanding of climate change.”

Dr Richard Betts, Head of Climate Impacts at the Met Office said: “This conference picks up the baton from the 2005 ‘Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change’ conference to look at how fast we are approaching dangerous climate change and how quickly we need to take action to adapt. This global problem requires a global team approach and this conference is a good step towards that goal.”

The Met Office and University of Exeter have formed a strategic partnership to tackle the pressing issues surrounding the science of climate change. Held at the University, Climate change impacts and adaptation: Dangerous rates of change is the first event of its kind organised by the two institutions. By bringing some of the world’s leading climate scientists to Exeter, they aim to put the city firmly on the map as a centre for world-class climate change research.

The University is investing several million pounds in climate change research over the next three years, as part of an £80 million boost to its science. The focus will be on climate prediction, adaptation and mitigation, in close liaison with the Met Office Hadley Centre.

Date: 22 September 2008