Natural Environment Research Council (NERC-NOC)

The National Oceanography Centre is a world-leader in numerical modelling of the global oceans and shelf seas. This includes modelling the ocean circulation and heat transport, marine ecosystems, sea-ice, turbulence, surface waves, sediment transport, tides and storm surges. Much of our work is carried out in close partnership with the UK Meteorological Office who are fellow members of the NEMO consortium.

Our science has the following aims.

  • To investigate the role of oceanic processes in determining Earth’s mean climate, its natural variability – including extreme events and its response to external and anthropogenic forcing. We aim to improve the ability to predict regional climate change on seasonal-centennial timescales by developing and applying methods to quantify and reduce uncertainty in key areas, such as: knowledge of surface fluxes, ocean and climate projections based on numerical models, observing strategies, and how observations are compared to model simulations.
  • To understand the present state of global-scale biogeochemical cycles and ecosystems. Our models are used to predict how future climate change and ocean acidification (among other changes) will impact the role of the ocean biota in ecosystem services and socio-economic aspects of the oceans. This research is organised around three core activities – climate change modelling; high resolution modelling of biophysical interactions; and development of the next generation UK marine biogeochemistry model (MEDUSA).
  • To investigate how climate variability and change, alongside direct human induced drivers, propagate from oceanic, terrestrial and atmospheric source through the marine system to impact on the services provided by the marine environment and the hazards posed. We consider the hydrodynamic environment and its interaction with ecosystems.
  • To study ocean dynamics including internal variability and the response to changes at the air-sea interface. The group also undertakes model-observation synthesis studies to gain insights into key processes (e.g. ocean heat uptake, high-latitude North Atlantic temperature variability).