Professor Lizzie Kendon

Keynote, Wed. Jan 12

Future changes in short-duration precipitation extremes from the latest high-resolution climate scenarios


Climate projections at very high resolution (km-scale grid spacing) are becoming affordable. These ‘convection-permitting’ models (CPMs), commonly used for weather forecasting, better represent small-scale processes in the atmosphere such as convection and are able to provide credible projections of changes in local weather extremes. At the UK Met Office we have carried out climate change simulations at 2.2km resolution over a pan-European domain, and also the first ensemble of CPM climate projections over a UK domain as part of the next set of UK Climate Projections (UKCP). In this talk I will highlight new understanding of changes in hourly rainfall extremes important for flash flooding. I will also provide examples of how these new CPM projections are being used in flood inundation modelling, and will discuss the implications for official climate change allowances for urban drainage design and surface water flooding.  

Meet our keynote speaker, Prof. Lizzie Kendon

Science Fellow and Manager at Met Office Hadley Centre, Professor in Faculty of Science at Bristol University

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Lizzie has 15 years of experience working at the Met Office Hadley Centre on regional climate modelling. She leads a team of scientists using very high-resolution (kilometre-scale) models to study climate change, with a focus on gaining a better understanding of extremes and their future change. Her work has been pioneering in the field of convection-permitting climate modelling, with high-profile papers in Nature Climate Change and Nature Comms. She recently led work delivering the first national climate scenarios at convection-permitting scale as part of the UK Climate Projections (UKCP) project. Lizzie also has a joint position as Professor in the Faculty of Science at Bristol University, with collaborative work on exploiting new high-resolution climate projections for impacts modelling (e.g. flooding) and user applications. Lizzie has given many talks at conferences and has considerable experience of communicating with the media. This includes appearances on the BBC Panorama programme as well as interviews on BBC News and the Radio 4 Today Programme.

Prior to joining the Met Office, Lizzie did a PhD at Imperial College London. As an undergraduate Lizzie studied Natural Sciences (Physics) at Cambridge University and also has an MSc in Pollution and Environmental Control from Manchester University. Lizzie is a keen mountaineer and has climbed widely in the European Alps and the greater ranges, including an ascent of Cho Oyu (8200m) in the Himalayas. Closer to home, Lizzie enjoys running, walking and exploring nature with her young family.