Dynamics is fundamental to both climate variability and anthropogenic change, shaping weather patterns on planetary, regional and local scales. Our research revolves around the fluid dynamics of the climate system, particularly the atmosphere, and aims to understand the physical mechanisms underlying the weather and climate events that impact us all.
We employ a range of different methods from the theoretical characterisations of waves and their influence on larger scales, through to statistical analysis of observational records and hindcasts from operational forecasting systems. We use models across the spectrum from single-level barotropic models up to large earth-system models which include: a well represented stratosphere, coupled fully dynamical ocean and extensive process parameterisations (e.g. small-scale waves, radiation, chemistry, biosphere, etc).
Recent questions we have investigated include:
- What is the potential for skilful seasonal forecasts for Europe in summer?
- What mechanisms underly the recent erratic behaviour of the stratospheric quasi-biennial oscillation?
- Why does the tropospheric jet stream split in two over the South Pacific in winter?
- How does the direct effect of CO2 on weather patterns impact climate risks in a 1.5C world?
- Can information from the the tropical upper stratosphere improve our forecasts of extreme stratospheric polar vortex events?
- How does solar variability affect the tropical Walker circulation?
- What processes drive the most persistent and high-impact blocking weather patterns?
We also work closely with partners within the National Centre of Atmospheric Science (NCAS) the Met Office.