Improving Weather and Climate Models

The Improving Weather and Climate Models area is focused on studying the atmospheric boundary layer and dynamical meteorology and links closely to work in the Centre for Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics.

Dr Bob Beare Senior Lecturer
Professor John Thuburn Professor
Professor Geoffrey Vallis Professor
Professor Beth Wingate Professor

Members of this group have been collaborating with the Met Office Dynamics Research group for over ten years, helping to develop and improve the numerical methods for a new weather and climate model dynamical core known as ENDGame. For more information see here.

Recently there has been renewed interest worldwide in alternatives to the latitude-longitude gridding of the sphere, driven largely by developments in supercomputer architecture, and the expectation that the resolution clustering near the poles of the latitude-longitude grid will lead to a communication bottleneck and poor performance on massively parallel computers. In collaboration with the US NCAR and LANL laboratories, and also under a new Met Office NERC/STFC initiative  in the UK called Gung-Ho, Prof. Thuburn has been developing numerical methods for some of the candidate alternative grids. See here.

The boundary layer is the layer of the atmosphere in which we live and ranges between 100 m and 1 km in depth. It is often turbulent, that is to say the winds fluctuate on timescales of minutes. The gusts of wind that we experience daily are evidence of these turbulent fluctuations. The turbulent fluctuations are responsible for transporting important physical properties such as moisture, heat and momentum to and from the surface. The boundary layer's transport properties play a fundamental role in both the short range (weather- days) and long range (climate- years) evolution of the atmosphere. Currently, there are projects on:

  • The use of balance in understanding how the boundary layer couples with the larger scale (in collaboration with Mike Cullen, Met Office).
  • The dispersion of pollution by the early evening boundary layer (PhD student, Alex Taylor, CASE partner David Thomson, Met Office)
  • Modelling the observed Antarctic boundary layer for Astrophysical applications (PhD student, Kieran Walesby, in collaboration with Phil Anderson, British Antarctic Survey and University of Exeter Astrophysics).
  • Modelling the boundary layer in the grey-zone (when the eddies are partially resolved), in collaboration with Adrian Lock, Met Office.