Rapid Climate Change (RAPID) is a £20 million, six-year (2001-2007) programme of the Natural Environment Research Council. The programme aims to improve our ability to quantify the probability and magnitude of future rapid change in climate, with a main (but not exclusive) focus on the role of the Atlantic Ocean's Thermohaline Circulation.
The specific scientific objectives of the RAPID programme were agreed by the Rapid Climate Change Steering Committee and are detailed in the RAPID Science Plan.
Approximately £11M have been awarded to proposals that were submitted in response to the RAPID First round of funding . Of this about £5M was committed to design a system to continuously monitor the strength and structure of the North Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. This design effort is being matched by comparative funding from the US National Science Foundation (NSF) for collaborative projects reviewed jointly with the NERC proposals. This monitoring effort is now continuing in the NERC-funded follow-on programme RAPID-WATCH 2008-20014
A 2nd and last round of funding was completed in 200f5 with two parallel Announcements of Opportunity. A total of 5 bids were funded under the Joint International AO , with the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research and the Research Council of Norway, and 11 bids under the RAPID 2nd "Science" AO. These projects are now coming to an end.
Dr Meric Srokosz is the Science Co-ordinator for the programme and Dr Val Byfield is the Deputy Science Co-ordinator, having taken over from Dr Christine Gommenginger from 1 April 2005. In autumn 2005 Dr. Craig Wallace joined the team as Knowledge Transfer co-ordinator. They have established a Rapid Climate Change project office at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton.
Scientific queries about this programme should be addressed to the RAPID Science Co-ordinator, who assists the Steering Committee in the co-ordinated implementation of the programme's science objectives, through liaison with award holders and other bodies.