University of Cambridge > > Seminars on Adaptation to Climate Change > INTEGRATING ADAPTATION AND MITIGATION SOLUTIONS


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  • UserProfessor Julian Hunt (Lord Hunt of Chesterton), Professor of Climate Modelling, University College, London
  • ClockThursday 05 February 2009, 17:00-18:00
  • HouseSt Edmund’s College, Garden Room.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Sir Brian Heap rbh22.

Key mechanisms for how the atmosphere and climate generally responds to large scale human influences need to be understood scientifically. Explanations should also be in terms that are more understandable to policy makers than computer predictions and data on a global scale, which have featured too much in the recent public debate in the UK (eg Lords Hansard July 15 2008). Some human influences on the climate have global impacts and require mitigation measures that have a global effect, eg in reduced green house gas emissions. Serious influences are also caused on regional and local scales, such as desertification, aerosol pollution and urban heat islands. Adaptation policies have to deal with the impacts on society of climatic and environmental hazards that occur on local and regional scales. These tend to be strongest where there are pronounced orographic features and strong feedbacks between surface processes and the atmosphere. Local scale mitigation can also contribute to adaptation on a local scale eg through forestation and sustainable urbanization-on the mega city scale.(see Predictions of global climate change also have to consider upscale processes where both the variability and long term changes at a regional scale are having global effects, such as ice and perma frost melting in polar regions. The application of local mesoscale numerical models and idealized flow studies provide insights about these mechanisms beyond those of current global climate models. They can provide tools for examining combined effects of mitigation and adaptation measures.

A policy map, together with system modeling, can be used to explore climate strategies by relating how the inputs (physical facilities, natural resources, and human capacity/response/feedback) can be optimally applied to achieve separately or together by integration the double objectives of (i) mitigation through non-fossil energy and conservation and (ii) adaptation through resilience against climatic and environmental hazards, and through long-term sustainability. These need to be achieved on appropriate time scales while ensuring nation-wide and international stability.


Professor Hunt’s current position is Visiting Fellow of the Malaysian Commonwealth Studies Centre in Cambridge University. He is a Fellow of Trinity College Cambridge, Honorary Professor in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Cambridge, J.M. Burgers visiting professor at the Delft University of Technology, Visiting Professor at Arizona State University, Pierre Fermat Visiting Professor in Toulouse, and Academic Director of the Lighthill Risk Network. He is Emeritus Professor of Climate Modelling in the Department of Earth Sciences, and Honorary Professor of Mathematics at University College London. He was Director-General and Chief Executive of the Meteorological Office from 1992-1997, and was created a Baron in the House of Lords (with the title Lord Hunt of Chesterton) in May 2000.

Professor Hunt’s recent research has been on mesoscale and meteorology, policy questions about environmental and climate change, and his studies have been applied to many problems in environmental fluid dynamics including building design, the siting of wind-energy generators and air pollution. He has been a consultant to UK and international companies and government departments, and, with colleagues, formed Cambridge Environmental Research Consultants Ltd (CERC) which developed environmental software including a new air pollution dispersion model, now the standard model for the UK Environment Agency.

This talk is part of the Seminars on Adaptation to Climate Change series.

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