What I do
Scientific research interests and projects
My interests lie in
understanding the processes responsible
for changes in climate and sea level, as observed and as
projected by atmosphere-ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs).
- Climate sensitivity: how to diagnose it, its dependence on climate and
forcing, its usefulness and limitations.
- Sea-level change: processes of change in AOGCMs, causes of its simulated
regional distribution, comparison of simulated change and variability with tide
gauges and altimetry. I am coordinating a subproject (FAFMIP) of the current phase (CMIP6) of the
Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, with the aim of investigating the
reasons for different AOGCM projections of sea-level change, ocean heat uptake
and circulation change. I am the PI of a project (UKFAFMIP) funded by a NERC
standard grant on addressing the Grand Challenge of regional sea level change
prediction, concerned with the magnitude, patterns and mechanisms of sea level
change and heat uptake in response to atmospheric forcing. Matt Couldrey is
working on this project.
- Ocean heat uptake: how it comes about in AOGCMs, why their results differ,
what we can deduce from observations of change in the ocean interior. I am
a co-investigator in a project (TICTOC) funded by a NERC large grant on the
investigation of ocean temperature and circulation change in observations and
models using passive tracers.
- Climate change and the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation,
especially the factors which affect the projections of its weakening.
- The Earth energy budget, related to climate sensitivity and ocean
heat uptake. I am a co-investigator of
the SMURPHS project, funded by as a highlight topic by NERC,
on hiatus and surge events.
- Geographical patterns of climate change: how they are determined.
- Development of the FAMOUS Earth
system model. Robin Smith is the manager of FAMOUS.
- Glacial-interglacial cycles: the mechanisms for these large changes of
global land ice cover, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and climate.
I am the PI of a project funded by a NERC standard grant on modelling the
last glacial cycle with FAMOUS coupled to the
Glimmer and BISICLES ice-sheet models.
Steve George is working on this project, with
Tony Payne of the University of Bristol and
Robin Smith as co-investigators.
- Modelling future changes in ice sheets and their contribution to sea-level
change. I am involved in the development of the ice-sheet/shelf modelling
component of the UK Earth system model, and in the ice-sheet subproject
(ISMIP6) of the current phase of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project. I
am the PI of the GRIST project on thresholds for the future of the Greenland
ice-sheet, funded by NERC as part of its programme on Understanding
the pathways to and impacts of a 1.5degC rise in global temperature. Steve
George is working on this project, with Tony Payne of the University of Bristol
and Robin Smith as co-investigators. I am a member of the steering committee
for the ISMIP6
subproject of CMIP6.
- One of the authors of the CF metadata
convention for climate data, which has been adopted as a standard by
many climate centres and international projects.
- Development of the Met Office IDL
library for analysis and visualisation of climate data.
- Contribution to the design of the
package for analysis of climate data. David Hassell is the developer
- Robin Smith, who is a research scientist, the
manager of the FAMOUS model, a CoI of the project on
the last glacial cycle, and the member of the UKESM core team
responsible for ice-sheet modelling.
- Steve George,
who is a research scientist working on the projects on the last glacial cycle
and thresholds for the future of the Greenland ice sheet.
- Till Kuhlbrodt,
who is a research scientist and the member of the UKESM core team
responsible for the low-resolution configuration.
- David Hassell,
who is a computational scientist,
the developer of cf-python,
originally for the "Seachange" project, now with
- Matt Couldrey, who is a research scientist working on the project
(UKFAFMIP) concerned with the magnitude and patterns of projected sea level
change and ocean heat uptake in response to atmospheric forcing.
Former PhD students
- Oliver Browne, who obtained his PhD in September 2009. His thesis is on
simulation of the interaction of ice sheets and climate
following glacial inception using a coupled AOGCM-icesheet model.
- Salvatore Pascale,
who obtained his PhD in March 2011. His thesis is concerned with the
conjecture of maximum entropy production by the climate system.
- Roberto Fernandez Bilbao,
who obtained his PhD in February 2017. His thesis is about ocean heat uptake
and sea-level change.