The Met. Office is the national weather bureau service of the United Kingdom. Its mission is to provide weather forecasting and meteorological research to a diverse group of civilian and government agencies including the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Formed in 1854, the Met. Office was indispensable in providing accurate weather forecasts that aided allied military operations during both world wars. Today, the Met. Office has over 2,200 employees worldwide.

Years before global warming became a household term, the Met. Office established the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research. This division, formed in 1990, began investigating and building models of the earth's climate history for the past 2,000 years and forecasting it for the next two millenniums. Large amounts of data were collected from various land, space and ocean-based instruments throughout the world and used as input for those models. The data was then processed with the help of advanced Cray supercomputers, producing vast amounts of numerical data for each experiment. However, by 1996 we realized we had a dilemma.

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