Climate change’s impact on extreme UK drought

About the project or challenge area

Extreme drought is one of the most important climate change risks faced by the UK. The highest impact events are strongly linked to large-scale weather (e.g. the jet stream location). Future changes in large-scale weather have substantial uncertainty, which propagates to uncertainty in extreme drought, but the implications for drought risk haven’t yet been made clear. This means we don’t know the worst case scenarios for the UK and the infrastructure/management options that need to be put in place. This project will investigate how projected changes in the occurrence of extreme large-scale weather will affect extreme drought risk and demonstrate the scale of the risk facing the UK.

Why choose this opportunity?

You will have the opportunity to learn how to analyse climate model simulations, model extreme weather events and create robust projections for the UK. You will also get the chance to work both with atmospheric scientists and hydrologists and build rare interdisciplinary expertise. You will also get to build links with our Met Office partner.

James Pope at the Met Office will participate in student supervision and help guide the project to make the outcomes relevant for UK users of climate science.

About you

You will have enthusiasm for studying climate change’s effect on high-impact weather and will be able to demonstrate some ability in computer programming and statistical analysis (or an ability to learn these skills in the time available).

How to apply

All students can apply using the button below, following the Cabot Masters by Research Admission Statement. Please note that this is an advertised project, which means you only have to complete Section A of the Research Statement.

Before applying, we recommend getting in touch with the project's supervisors. If you are interested in this project and would like to learn more about the research you will be undertaking, please use the contact details on this page.

Peter Watson Supervisor

Your supervisor for this project will be Dr Peter Watson in the School of Geographical Sciences.  You can contact him at +44 (0) 117 331 7351 or email

Gemma Coxon 500x250 Supervisor

Your co-supervisor for this project will be Dr Gemma Coxon in the School of Geographical Sciences. You can contact her at +44 (0) 117 331 7382 or email

Find out more about your prospective research community

The Environmental Change theme is a vibrant community of researchers who integrate expertise across multiple disciplines to provide the evidence base and solutions to tackle the world's most pressing environmental challenges. Find out more about the Environmental Change research theme.

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