Wind or Wind speed
The movement of air around the earth from high pressure to low pressure is what brings about winds. The direction given for the wind refers to the direction from which it comes. For example, a westerly wind is blowing from the west towards the east.
Previous UK climate scenarios (e.g. UKCIP02) provided projections of changes in wind speed. However, climate models in general do not yield consistent or robust estimates of wind speed changes and the results were very uncertain.
Probabilistic projections of changes in wind speed were released a year after the launch. It was not possible to produce them initially as projections of wind speed were not available in the same manner as the other climate model data. As a result, the probabilistic projections of wind are in a separate batch, which means they cannot be used in conjunction with the other UKCP09 variables.
There are three possible alternative sources of projections of wind speed should a multi-variable analysis be required:
- the 17-member ensemble of variants of the Met Office GCM
- the 11-member ensemble of variants of the Met Office RCM
- the ensemble of other global climate models, available as part of the CMIP3 project
Data from the first two (Met Office GCM and RCM) is available from the Climate Impacts LINK project, operated by . In the case of wind speed, the use of changes from the 11-member Met Office RCM ensemble is recommended in the first instance. Although RCM wind speeds do not validate particularly well against current climate, the percentage changes in wind speed can be expected to be reasonably robust.
- The 11-member RCM data is described in the Reports & guidance section and in Chapter 5 of the UKCP09 Climate change projections report.
- More details about the climate models used in UKCP09 are given in Box 2.1 in the UKCP09 Climate change projections report. A commentary about the strengths and weaknesses of climate models is given in Annex 3.
- For an overview of how probabilistic projections are created and presented, go to Box 3 of the UKCP09 Briefing report. More details are provided in Chapter 3 of the UKCP09 Climate change projections report, including an overview of the methodology in Section 3.2.12.
Find out more
- The 11-member RCM dataset is available on the LINK website
- The CMIP3 multi-model dataset can be freely accessed for non-commercial purposes via the CMIP3 website