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Royal Meteorological Society Masterclass: Extracting Causal Information from Climate Data

Speaker: Dr Marlene Kretschmer, University of Reading

There are large uncertainties when it comes to predicting extreme regional weather and climate events. A limited causal understanding of the physical drivers of extremes – such as connections to the North Atlantic Oscillation or Madden-Julian Oscillation – compounds the issue when interpreting climate model forecasts. Yet, to justify taking critical actions in the light of uncertainty, explanations are crucial because they provide decision-makers with a level of plausibility.

Therefore, weather and climate forecasting progress strongly depend on an improved causal understanding of the climate system by analysing the large data sets from observations and climate models. A physical knowledge of the underlying mechanisms and different statistical techniques is needed.

In this talk, Dr Kretschmer will show how recent causality research advancements can help reconcile the two. A causal approach requires explicitly including expert knowledge in the statistical analysis, allowing for quantitative conclusions. This session will illustrate some of the key concepts of this theory with concrete examples of well-known atmospheric teleconnections and will discuss the particular challenges and advantages these imply for climate science.

About RMetS and University of Reading Meteorological Masterclasses

Continuing our online Meteorological Masterclasses in partnership with the University of Reading, we are pleased to announce a new Masterclass series in “Advances in weather and climate forecasting”.

During this series, three leading experts from the University of Reading will discuss the latest scientific advances for understanding and predicting weather, climate and its impacts. Topics to be covered include data assimilation and machine learning; identification of causal pathways in atmospheric teleconnections; and modelling advances in resolution and parameterization for weather forecasting.

These masterclasses are intended to provide support for professionals working in Meteorology and Climate Science, and its operational applications who wish to remain up to date on recent scientific developments in the field.

Masterclasses will run weekly on Wednesday’s 16th, 23rd and 30th March 2022 from 3 pm to 4.30 pm (UTC), consisting of a presentation followed by the opportunity for questions and discussion with the speaker. Whilst the webinars are part of a series, attendance at all three events is not compulsory.


16 March 2022
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
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Royal Meteorological Society


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