PAGODA (Horyuji PAGODA in full) stands for “Hydrological cycle understanding via process-based global detection, attribution and prediction”.

Objectives of the PAGODA project:

PAGODA will address the uncertainties and inconsistencies in modelling the water cycle by:

  • assessing and quantifying how the water cycle is changing
  • evaluating, against observations at a process level, the representation of variability and changes in the water cycle in existing climate models
  • identifying the processes in the atmosphere, land and oceans that are responsible for any divergence with observations and amongst existing climate models
  • providing robust guidance to users about possible future changes in the water cycle.


The role of horizontal resolution in simulating drivers of the global hydrological cycle.
2014. Demory, M.-E., Vidale, P. L., Roberts, M. J., Berrisford, P., Strachan, J., Schiemann, R. and Mizielinski, M. S. Climate Dynamics. ISSN 0930-7575. DOI: 10.1007/s00382-013-1924-4

The impacts of European and Asian anthropogenic sulphur dioxide emissions on Sahel rainfall.
2014. Dong, B.-W., Sutton, R., Highwood, E. J., and Wilcox, L. J. J Climate, 27, 7000–7017. DOI:

Challenges in quantifying changes in the global water cycle
2014. Hegerl, G. C., E. Black, R. P. Allan, W. J. Ingram, D. Polson, K. E. Trenberth, R. S. Chadwick, P. A. Arkin, B. Balan Sarojini, A. Becker, E. M. Blyth, A. Dai, P. Durack, D. Easterling, H. Fowler, E. Kendon, G. J. Huffman, C. Liu, R. Marsh, M. New, T. J. Osborn, N. Skliris, P. A. Stott, P.-L. Vidale, S. E. Wijffels, L. J. Wilcox, K. M. Willett and X. Zhang. Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. (accepted)

Physically consistent responses of the global atmospheric hydrological cycle in models and observations
Allan, R.P., C. Liu, M. Zahn, D. A. Lavers, E. Koukouvagias and A. Bodas-Salcedo. 2013. Surveys in Geophysics, DOI: 10.1007/s10712-012-9213-z.

Atmospheric blocking in a high resolution climate model: influences of mean state, orography and eddy forcing
2013. Berckmans, J., Woollings, T., Demory, M.-E., Vidale, P.-L. and Roberts, M. Atmospheric Science Letters, 14 (1). pp. 34-40. ISSN 1530-261X DOI: 10.1002/asl2.412

Variability of the North Atlantic summer storm track: mechanisms and impacts on European climate
2013. Dong, B., Sutton, R. T., Woollings, T. and Hodges, K. Environmental Research Letters, 8 (3). 034037. ISSN 1748-9326 DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/8/3/034037

The effect of volcanic eruptions on global precipitation
2013. Iles, C., G.C. Hegerl, A.P. Schurer and X. Zhang. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres. DOI: 10.1002/jgrd.50678

Observed and simulated precipitation responses in wet and dry regions 1850-2100
2013. Liu, C. and R. P. Allan. Environmental Research Letters, 8, 034002 DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/8/3/034002

Comparing tropical precipitation simulated by the Met Office NWP and climate models with satellite observations
Liu, C., R. P. Allan, M. Brooks and S. F. Milton (2013) , J. Applied Meteorol. and Climatology, 53, 200–214. DOI: 10.1175/JAMC-D-13-082.1

Quantifying global climate feedbacks, responses and forcing under abrupt and gradual CO2 forcing
2013. Long, DJ and Collins M. Climate Dynamics, Volume 41, Issue 9-10, pp 2471-2479
DOI: 10.1007/s00382-013-1677-0

Have greenhouse gases intensified the contrast between wet and dry regions?
2013. Polson D., G.C. Hegerl, R. P. Allan and B. Balan Sarojini. Geophysical Research Letters, 40, 4783-4787. DOI: 10.1002/grl.50923

Causes of robust seasonal land precipitation changes
2013. Polson, D., G. Hegerl, X. Zhang. Journal of Climate, 26, 6679–6697. DOI: 10.1175/JCLID-12-00474.1

Salinity changes in the World Ocean since 1950 in relation to changing surface freshwater fluxes
2013. Skliris, N., Marsh, R., Josey, S. A., Good, S. A., Liu, C. L., and R. Allen. Climate Dynamics, 43, 709–736. DOI: 10.1007/s00382-014-2131-7

Development of warm SST errors in the southern tropical Atlantic in CMIP5 decadal hindcasts
2013. Toniazzo, T. and Woolnough, S. Climate Dynamics. ISSN 0930-7575 DOI: 10.1007/s00382-013-1691-2

Climate warming-related strengthening of the tropical hydrological cycle
Zahn, M. and R. P. Allan. 2013. Journal of Climate, 26, p.562-574.

Fingerprints of changes in annual and seasonal precipitation from CMIP5 models over land and ocean
2012. Balan Sarojini, B., P. A. Stott, E. Black, and D. Polson. Geophysical Research Letters, 39, DOI: 10.1029/2012GL053373.

More publications are listed on the PAGODA website publication page.

Key project members of PAGODA

Principal Investigator:

Professor Pier Luigi Vidale, University of Reading

Co-Principal Investigators:

Dr Eleanor Blyth, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

Professor Gabriele Hegerl, University of Edinburgh

Professor Mat Collins, University of Exeter

Dr Bob Marsh, National Oceanography Centre

Dr Tim Osborn, University of East Anglia


Dr Richard Allan, University of Reading

Dr Steve Woolnough, University of Reading

Dr Eleanor Highwood, University of Reading

Professor Simon Tett, University of Edinburgh

Professor David Stephenson, University of Exeter (also affiliated to University of Edinburgh)

Research staff:

Dr Emily Black, University of Reading (Scientific Co-ordinator)

Dr Buwen Dong, University of Reading

Dr Thomas Toniazzo, University of Reading

Ms Marie-Estelle Demory, University of Reading

Dr Debbie Polson, University of Edinburgh

Dr David Lister, University of East Anglia

Dr Stan Yip, University of Exeter (also affiliated to University of Edinburgh)

Dr David Long, University of Exeter

Dr Chun Lei, University of Reading

Dr Nikolaos Skliris, National Oceanography Centre

PAGODA collaborators at partner institutions:

Dr Peter Stott, Met Office

Dr Sean Milton, Met Office

Dr Peili Wu, Met Office

Professor Joyce Penner, University of Michigan

Dr Francis Zwiers, Environment Canada

Dr Susan Wijffels, CSIRO

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