Prof ELLIE HIGHWOOD

Current research projects

Optical and Radiative Properties of Aerosol

FENNEC

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Claire Ryder is working on the FENNEC project consortium which is led by Dr Richard Washington at Oxford. This project examines the mechanisms by which dust is produced in the Sahara and the impact of dust on boundary layer dynamics of the Saharan region and the eventual influence on weather systems of Northern Africa and wider regions. Reading's role is to analyse aerosol microphysical and optical properties from the airborne campaigns in 2011 and 2012, to calculate the radiative effect of the dust and to compare model simulations of radiation with that measured by satellite.

The impact of aerosol on climate and the water cycle

PAGODA

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Laura Wilcox is working on this large NERC Changing Water Cycle project led by Pier-Luigi Vidale to examine the influence of climate change on various aspects of the hydrological cycle and to develop metrics and attribution techniques for precipitation changes. Her role is to look for metrics of the water cycle that can physically be linked to aerosol or aerosol processes, and to examine these in global climate model simulations. We are also working with Buwen Dong from NCAS Climate on this subject.

SAPRISE

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Liang Guo is working with me and Dr Andrew Turner on the NERC Changing Water Cycle project led by Prof Mat. Collins at the University of Exeter. We are looking at the impact of aerosol on S. Asian monsoon variability compared to other causes of variability (e.g. sea surface temperature). We will use the CMIP5 model database as well as idealised modelling to look at the processes involved in changing the monsoon when you add scattering or absorbing aerosol to the climate system.

Absorbing aerosol (Black and Brown Carbon).

SAMBBA (South American Biomass Burning Aerosol)

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Work will start soon on modelling the impact of biomass burning aerosol from Brazil on radiation and clouds as part of the SAMBBA project. At Reading we will do two studies. The first uses observations of aerosol optical properties and composition together with a Large Eddy Model to establish the effect of the aerosol on clouds via the "semi-direct" effect. The second will look at the effect of these aerosol in a high resolution climate model.

Black carbon in models

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James Mollard is a first year PhD student working with Nicolas Bellouin and Ellie Highwood. His project concerns evaluating the black carbon in climate models, and ultimately getting a better estimate of it's radiative forcing.

Geoengineering

Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering Schemes

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Angus Ferraro has just completed his PhD, co-supervised by Andrew Charlton-Perez. He was looking at the impact of potential stratospheric aerosol geo-engineering schemes on stratospheric dynamics and hence on the weather systems in the troposphere. He used an intermediate idealised global circulation model, the IGCM.

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