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CATS Research Grants

Current Research Grants

  • 'Visualisation of Climate Model Output and Uncertainties for the DECC 2050 Global Calculator'
    In this NERC PURE Associates project Dr Erica Thompson and Professor Leonard Smith are working on visualisation and communication of the IPCC's climate projections, in partnership with the UK Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC). This is part of the 2050 Global Calculator project which aims to inform the debate about energy and climate systems in the run up to the UNFCCC Paris COP in 2015. The project runs from November 2013 to May 2014.
  • 'Improving the Safety of RNLI Operations through a better use of Probabilistic Weather Information'
    In this NERC PURE Associates project research student Edward Wheatcroft and Professor Leonard Smith are working with the RNLI to provide support for lifeboat operators with respect to both current and potential meteorological  conditions. By providing guidance to develop tools that give real time information on the weather outlook, the target is to help provide decision makers with better support to make the right choices with regards to the safety of both the lifeboat crew and the general public. The project runs from November 2013 to May 2014.
  • Combined Efficient Large Scale Integrated Urban Systems (CELSIUS)
    This multi-partner EU project, led by the City of Gothenburg, involves a number of leading utilities organizations as well as academic partners. It aims to maximize carbon savings in cities by maximizing the unused energy saving potential through tackling ways to effectively and efficiently recover energy losses. The project began in April 2013, and will run for 5 years. The Principal Investigator at LSE is Professor Henry Wynn.
  • Delivering and Evaluating Multiple Flood Risk Benefits
    This EPSRC-funded project is led by the University of Nottingham, and will run from January 2013 to December 2015. New strategies for managing urban flood risk are required, necessitating radical changes in the ways cities are managed, planned and developed. Previous research has identified multiple options and measures for future urban flood risk management that align with more general targets for water centric, sustainable communities. However, it remains unclear how these options and measures can be: (1) delivered in practice, and; (2) comprehensively evaluated in terms of their benefits and costs. This project aims to develop novel ways of driving new, resilient urban forms and fabrics through delivering measures to manage flood events sustainably while enhancing urban life; providing scope for radical solutions under new build; and, realising possibilities for improving existing performance through retrofit and urban renewal. At LSE the project is led by Professor Leonard Smith. Grant reference: EP/K013661/1.  Wikipedia entry.  Project blog.


  • End-to-End Quantification of Uncertainty for Impacts Prediction (EQUIP) Funded by NERC, EQUIP brings together the UK climate modelling, statistical modelling and impacts communities to work closely together for the first time on developing risk-based prediction for decision making in the face of climate variability and change. EQUIP is a collaborative project involving eleven UK Universities and research institutions. In CATS our focus is to contrast information from statistical models of observational timeseries with the output of complicated dynamical models of the atmosphere/ocean system. Our aim is to quantify the spatial and temporal scales on which these different methods can provide quantitative input to policy decisions. The project began in January 2010 and runs until December 2012. At LSE the project is led by Professor Leonard Smith and Dr David Stainforth. Grant reference: NE/H003479/1. 
  • Integrated Ocean Observing Systems. Since 2007 CATS has received funding from the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to fund a professorial fellow, Dr Ralph Rayner, as the industry liaison for the US Interagency Ocean Observation Committee (IOOC) and the US Intergrated Ocean Observing Committee (IOOS) that it coordinates. Dr Rayner acts as the information point for a broad range of relevant industries; implements and manages a network for the exchange of information; and organises outreach workshops which promote the socioeconomic benefits of ocean observations. He also supports the interface between US IOOS and regional initiatives in other countries as well as the interface with the United Nations coordinated Global Ocean Observing System. Dr Rayner gave a presentation on the Global Ocean Observing System at the CATS 10th Anniversary event in October 2010. Link to talk here.
  • RAPID-RAPIT. A NERC funded collaborative project led by the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, that is attempting to quantify the likelihood of a shut down in the Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC) in the North Atlantic. Grant reference: NE/G015392/1. Grant holder: Dr David Stainforth.
  • Evaluating the Economics of Climate Risks and Opportunities in the Insurance Sector. A research programme funded by Munich Re as part of the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy. The programme focuses on informing the insurance sector on the impacts of alternative approaches to carbon finance and emission trading; aiding the design of trading schemes and suggesting new financial service products to be developed; informing decision-makers, at the company level and the country level, on how better to balance investment between mitigation and adaptation, survivability and sustainability.

Recent and Past Grants

  • Can a Citation Database give a Fair View of Research Quality? Developing multi-faceted statistics for the insightful comparison of researchers, departments, and universities. Funded by STICERD. This project aims to develop, illustrate and evaluate new measures of research quality based on quantitative analysis of the quantity, quality and diversity of citations to an individual's published research papers; to illustrate the need for multi-variate measures; to demonstrate variations between fields of study, and develop methods to account for these variations; and to evaluate the strengths and weakness of proposed statistics, in particular how transparent they are and how easily it might be manipulated.
  • Blue Gene project: A Climate Research Project, sponsored by Lloyd's of London and utilising the computational resources of the Hartree Centre.
    Summary: to examine the ability of state of the art general circulation models to shadow the observations; starting with EC Earth (the models considered will vary with the permissions granted the Bluegene team. We will aim to consider both seasonal time scales and beyond, investigating the durations over which models can shadow temperature in Nino3.4 and the Atlantic Main Development region, and establish a methodology of lasting value in evaluating the relevance of large models to the insurance sector, as well as evaluating the current state of the art. This will also set the baseline for designing "climate shadowing experiments over decadal periods. In addition, we would hope to assist in climate@home the (US version of climateprediction.net) and to use the climate@home model(s) in parallel shadowing experiments, investigating experimental design incorporating the synergistic use of distributed computing informed by focused Bluegene runs. 
  • Climate Change and the Insurance Industry (CCII), funded by EC FP7 People 'Industry and Academia Partnerships and Pathways' scheme. August 2008-July 2012. Grant holder: Professor Henry Wynn.
  • Managing Uncertainty in Complex Models (MUCM) is a Research Councils UK funded project that started in 2006. It is held by a comsortium of 5 universities - Sheffield (the lead partner), Durham, Aston, Southampton and LSE. It is led at LSE by Professor Henry Wynn. MUCM is a multidisciplinary project concerned with quantifying and reducing uncertainty in the predictions of complex models across a wide range of application areas, including basic science, environmental science, engineering, technology, biosciences, and economics. The first phase of MUCM drew to a close in September 2010 and is followed by a second two-year phase (MUCM2). There is special emphasis on a number of areas of interest to the wider CATS programme, including stochastic simulation and modelling for decision making.

    Ensemble-based Predictions of Climate Changes and their Impacts (ENSEMBLES)   EU 6th framework programme / Integrated project. Grant reference: GOCE-CT-2003-505539-ENSEMBLES. Grant holder: Professor Leonard Smith
    Total value: LSE CATS budget is £108,306. Start/end date: 01/09/2004 - 31/12/2009
    Summary: To develop an ensemble prediction system of climate changes and their impacts.
  • Nonlinear Analysis & Prediction Statistics from Timeseries & Ensemble-forecast Realizations (NAPSTER) NERC Grant reference: NE/D00120X/1.  Grant holder: Professor Leonard Smith.  Total value: £152,481.  Start/end date: 01/11/2005 - 31/10/2007
    Summary: To set a basis for an innovative knowledge transfer mechanism between science base and users of the environmental predictions.
  • Direct & Inverse Modelling in End-to-End Environmental Estimation (DIME)  EPSRC-DTI Smith Institute Faraday Partnership, grant reference: GR/R92363/01. Grant holder: Professor Leonard Smith. Total value: £94,360 (plus industrial in-kind support from EDF Energy and Risk Management Solutions). Start/end date: 01/03/2003 - 31/08/2005
    Summary: To track uncertainty, both from model inadequacy and from the unknown initial state of the atmosphere, all the way through the modelling process, to yield estimates of the uncertainty in quantities of industrial interest.
  • Real-time Modelling of Nonlinear Datastreams (REMIND)  EPSRC-DTI Smith Institute Faraday Partnership, grant reference:  GR/R92271/01. Grant holder: Professor Leonard Smith.  Total value: £85,827  (plus industrial in-kind support from National Grid Company and Intertec). Start/end date: 01/03/2003 - 28/02/2005.
  •  Climateprediction.net: A practical platform for ensemble Earth System Modelling.  NERC grant reference: NE/C515747/.  Grant holder:  Myles Allen, Oxford University. Co-Investigator: Professor Leonard Smith.Total value:  £283, 627.93.
  • Climate Variability  Funded by University of California, San Diego. Grant reference: 10255373. Grant holder: Professor Leonard Smith. Total value: £16,026.  Start/end date: 01/11/2005 - 30/06/2006. Summary: Ensemble simulations of observed climate variability.
  • Weather Risk Management  Funded by University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). Grant reference: S05-54803. Grant holder: Professor Leonard Smith. Total value: £10,526. Start/end date: 16/05/2005 - 15/04/2006. Summary: Improving operational weather risk management, demand forecasts and the use of joint distributions.
  • Towards Identifying and Increasing the Socio-Economic Value of High-Impact Weather Forecasts. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) grant reference: Lenny Smith - NOAA.  Grant holder: Professor Leonard Smith.  
    Total value: £94,538.  Start/end date: 01/10/2003 - 30/09/2004
    Summary: To support a Pembroke research fellowship in applied probabilistic meteorology.
  • Improved Risk Management via Probabilistic Weather Forecasts.  Funded by Royal Dutch Shell.  Grant holder: Professor Leonard Smith. Total value:  £21,873.   Start/end date: 01/06/2002 - 01/01/2004
    Summary: interpreting ensemble forecasts for risk analysis.
  • 2002 EC Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship, held by Dr Antjie Weisheimer, to work within CATS on the predictability in large climate models with Professor Leonard Smith.