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Flood engineers to access Met Office forecasts

NEWS

FLOOD ENGINEERS will soon be able to use Met Office research on future rainfall to help them design flood defences.

Met Office researchers at Berkshire's Hadley Centre plan to run 1,000 climate change models in a bid to establish future climate change patterns.

The results will be used to build a probability graph for use by engineers, designers, environmentalists and insurers.

Each model, which could take up to a month to run, will contain historical temperature and rainfall data to predict weather patterns for the next 50 years.

Then, variables will be added such as atmospheric greenhouse gas levels, degrees of cloud cover and tidal changes, to produce the probability graph.

'With this research we can take away the difficulty that a planner presently has of looking at half a dozen models and wondering which is the most accurate, ' said Hadley Centre researcher Geoff Jenkins.

Engineers would instead have a proper statistical basis to decide the height of flood defences with more certainty, he added.

Initial runs of the modelling scheme have been completed and partial funding has been secured from the government. If funding continues, a completed graph could be produced within two years.

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