Ocean & atmosphere
Natural processes and human activities cause the Earth's climate to vary, over seasons, years and decades. The oceans - through continual interaction with the atmosphere - play a major role in governing this variability. While scientists have recently made substantial progress in understanding the tropical Pacific's role in climate variability, the Atlantic's role is much less well understood.
COAPEC (Coupled Ocean Atmosphere Processes and European Climate) was one of NERC's Directed Programmes and ran from 1999-2005.
Its goal was to determine how the coupling between the Atlantic and the atmosphere affects the climate, especially in Europe. COAPEC focused on natural changes in the system that occur over seasons to decades, including how events in other oceans, such as El Niņo in the Pacific, influence the interaction between Atlantic and atmosphere.
COAPEC aimed to answer five key questions:
- What are the characteristics of seasonal-to-decadal climate variability in the Atlantic?
- How do these characteristics differ from those simulated in coupled general circulation models? How do we correct the models?
- What are the physical mechanisms that determine the mean climate and seasonal-to decadal climate variability in and around the Atlantic?
- What processes determine the predictability of climate fluctuations in the Atlantic/European region?
- How do we make sure our scientific output is useful to society?
Seven leaflets covering these questions are available to download. Paper copies are no longer available.
For more information contact:
Dr Helen Snaith
National Oceanography Centre, Southampton
Southampton SO14 3ZH
Tel: 023 8059 6410