Supplementary evidence from the Met Office
following oral evidence session on 16 May 2007
During oral evidence on 16 May, Dr Mike Bell
offered to provide a written response on the sort of marine science
research that MoD is looking for from the Met Office.
MOD funded marine research is carried out in
three programmes at the Met Office: the Defence Climate Research
Programme (DCRP), which forms part of a much larger Integrated
Climate Research Programme that incorporates the Defra Climate
Prediction Programme; the Defence Environmental Research and Technology
Programme (DERTP); and the Defence Oceanographic Programme (DOP).
The Climate Research Programme includes research
and development of ocean models as components of Earth system
models for use in seasonal and decadal predictions and to provide
advice on the likelihood, magnitude and patterns of climate change.
This includes patterns of sea level rise and effects of climate
change on shelf seas.
The DERTP includes a range of research and development
activities in the marine area that have potential or specific
application to military operations. These activities both underpin
the basic science (e.g. water clarity) and engage with stakeholders
to demonstrate the application of ocean models to military decision
making, for example through the development of improved water
column visibility products for underwater operations.
The DOP supports research and development of
the Met Office's ocean forecasting systems that are used to provide
operational weather forecasts for the Navy through the Fleet Weather
and Oceanographic Centre (FWOC) at Northwood. In the past this
research and development was focussed on the conditions which
affect sound propagation, particularly the depth of the layer
of nearly uniform temperature near the ocean surface and the forecasting
of temperature fronts and eddies. More recently the focus has
been on near-shore waters including near-shore waves and water
In the case of DCRP and DERTP, MOD's requirements
are formulated by the Research Acquisition Organisation (RAO).
These requirements originate from a range of MOD stakeholders,
including various Equipment Capability Customer areas, frontline
Commands and, for the DCRP, policy areas.
Funding for the requirements formulated by the
RAO is currently channelled through seven Science and Technology
Outputs (these are the "pillars" Dr Bell referred to
in his oral evidence). Each Output is owned by a high level customer
in MOD such as the S&T Director for advice availability
and the Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Equipment Capability)
for advice to capability management. Funding for Met Office
ocean R&D is currently channelled through the DERTP and DCRP
from three of these seven Outputs. However, during the current
financial year the seven Outputs are being re-organised into three
channels: enabling research capability, capability planning and
management, technology development. Nevertheless, the basic model
of funding being channelled to the above Met Office programmes
from higher level themes remains unchanged.
In the case of the DOP, MOD's requirements are
formulated by DI ICSP (Defence Intelligence, Intelligence Collection
Strategy and Plans) under the Chief of Defence Intelligence. This
is informed by regular stakeholder gatherings such as the Forecast
Ocean Model Working Group whose membership includes FWOC, Fleet
Warfare, Dstl, the Maritime Warfare Centre and ICSP. The Forecast
Ocean Model Working Group also oversees the ocean elements of
the DERTP ensuring coherence between the programmes.
All three programmes, the DCRP, the DERTP and
the DOP are encapsulated within Customer Supplier Agreements,
which define the services required by the customer (expressed
in output terms) including quality measures where applicable.