MPE CDT Virtual School: Modern data-based and complex systems approach to climate dynamics

This year’s MPE Summer School was postponed due to Covid-19.  Instead we ran a successful virtual on-line school, held every Tuesday from September 29 to 27 October 2020. It was aimed at graduate students in mathematics and climate dynamics. The school involved lectures and a project component, with students working together in small groups.

The principal lecture, Professor Henk Dijkstra from Utrecht University gave 5 two-hour lectures on the following topics:

  • Stochastic climate dynamics
  • Tipping elements and transition behaviour
  • Intrinsic climate variability
  • Weather and climate prediction
  • Climate change.

In addition, specialist lectures were given by the following eminent speakers:

  • Anna von der Heydt, Utrecht University (paleoclimate variability)
  • Laura Jackson, Met Office (oceanic thermohaline circulation)
  • Antje Weisheimer, ECMWF and Oxford University (predictability).

Participants who took part in the project component worked on four mini computational projects in preassigned groups. The projects were designed to complement the lectures, and group members collaborated through a web-based interface. Each group gave a short presentation on one of the projects.

The course was very well received and was attended by a number of external students as well as the MPE students and staff.  The course should have been held at the Met Office at the start of the summer as part of the MPE MOTR.  Of course, coronavirus prevented this. We are very grateful to Professor Dijkstra for agreeing to switch to running the course fully online. This had the benefit of allowing some non MPE CDT students to attend the lectures and participate in the projects, thus widening participation.

The course materials and lecture recordings are available here.