11th NCCR Climate Summer School

September 2012




Iam extremely grateful to the Royal Meteorological Society for the Legacies Fund award that supported my attendance at the 11thNCCR Climate Summer School in Ascona, Switzerland during September 2012.The Summer School, held annually,provides an opportunity for young scientists to attend keynote lectures, workshops and poster sessions led by prominent climate researchers.  The theme for this year’s Summer School was “the water cycle in a changing climate”, a topic of particular relevance to my current work in extreme precipitation at regional scales. 

The week-long course kicked-off with ascene-setting talk from Prof. Thomas Stocker, the Co-Chair of Working Group I for the IPCC’s Firth Assessment Report (AR5), who discussed the “accelerating” global water cycle and outlined the key questions that the AR5 will address.  We were also fortunate to hear talks from two esteemed researchers from North America, with Dennis Hartmann providing a brief introduction to observed trends in the water cycle and Isaac Held discussing the relationship between latent heat release, atmospheric moisture content and general circulation.  I was particularly inspired by ChristophSchaer’s summary of the challenges in producing reliable projections of extreme events associated with a changing climate. 

There were a number of poster sessions throughout the week.  I presented a summary of my current research project relating to statistical downscaling of extreme European precipitation.  This provided an excellent opportunity to receive useful feedback on my work from learned colleagues, particularly the representatives from MeteoSwiss and ETH Zurich.

Overall, the Summer School was a very enjoyable and worthwhile experience, held in a very beautiful location.  It is remarkable how much one can learn in such a short space of time when in the company of so many like-minded scientists and fellow students. I would not hesitate to recommend future NCCR Schools to other doctoral and early-stage researchers.

Jonathan Eden
University of Birmingham
September 2012