By Alberto Munoz (UNIVLEEDS, UK).

This summer CRESCENDO supported the UKESM team (www.ukesm.ac.uk) and the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) to participate at the Royal Society summer science exhibition (3 to 9 July 2017) in London, a unique opportunity to showcase the status of the UK Earth system modelling science and help the general public better understand the science behind climate modelling and shed light of some of their burden questions regarding climate change.

The exhibit named ‘A Model Earth’ (https://royalsociety.org/science-events-and-lectures/2017/summer-science-exhibition/exhibits/a-model-earth/) was one of the 22 selected exhibitors from about hundreds of applications to this high profile public unique dissemination opportunity, showcasing “the best of UK science” and visited by around 14,000 members of the public, including some schools, press and Royal Society Fellows.

Team photo at the Royal Society exhibition on day 7. From left to right: Alice Booth, Shannon Mason, Till Kuhlbrodt, Lucia Hosekova, Lee de Mora, Colin Jones and Alberto Muñoz.

Several members of CRESCENDO helped during the preparations and enthusiastically came along to London at least one day to participate in the week-long event; Cat Scott, Colin Jones, Alice Booth and Alberto Munoz from UNIVLEEDS, Andrew Yool from NOC, Till Kuhlbrodt from UREAD, and Jane Mulcahy, Yongming Tang and Jeremy Walton from MOHC.

The stand presented the development of the 1st national UK Earth system model (UKESM1), realised through a collaboration between the Met Office Hadley Centre (MOHC), the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC) and UK universities. The centre piece of the exhibit was the Puffferfish Projecting Globe, borrowed from the Meteorology Department at the University of Reading and that displayed animations and climate simulations on a 3D touch-sensitive sphere where we alternated in displaying 6 different videos to act as visual explanations of different areas of the Earth system. Alongside the globe, the public could learn more with hands on activities, by playing the ‘Climate Change Quiz’ or the ‘ESM puzzle ball’, custom made for this occasion – favourite amongst the little ones, together with information displays, booklets and hand-outs that illustrated and helped visitor understand the science behind Earth system modeling and climate change.

Photo: Cat Scott during the exhibition explaining to visitors the simulations and movies shown at the Puffersphere .

Photo: Jane Mulcahy during the exhibition playing the interactive quiz with visitors.

Despise most of the visitors being curious and interested in climate change and modeling, people seemed to be uninformed about the science of climate change. The stand did a very good job at filling this gap and provided the opportunity to discuss and ask any question about it. The globe display was an excellent enticement for people to approach, and to start talking about climate and – very generally – the processes which are going into the UKESM model.

A MODEL EARTH promotional video: