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Water vapour and clouds in the climate system

Key processes and changes
When Nov 03, 2015
from 02:00 PM to 06:00 PM
Where Pfizer Lecture Theatre, Department of Chemistry
Contact Name
Contact Phone 01223 221505
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The water cycle is a critical component of Earth's climate system, as it stores and redistributes heat and freshwater via a set of dynamic processes. As a part of the water cycle, water vapour acts as a strong positive feedback mechanism, amplifying any changes caused by atmospheric carbon dioxide. Clouds alter the distribution and balance of radiation at Earth's surface, impacting on surface temperatures.

In this afternoon workshop, we discuss the role of water vapour and clouds in the climate system through a series of expert talks.


14:00 Welcome

14:10 Louise Sime (British Antarctic Survey)
Heavy stuff: Water isotopes in clouds and polar regions

14:40 Constantino Listowski (British Antarctic Survey)
Clouds: from observations to simulation challenges

15:10 Chris Holloway (Department of Meteorology, University of Reading)
The interaction of moisture-cloud processes and tropical convective organization

15:40 Tea/coffee break [BMS lecture theatre]

16:10 Tamsin O’Connell (Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge)
Of molluscs and men (and other mammals): archaeological applications of oxygen isotopic analysis

16:40 Jan Zika (Dept. of Physics and Grantham Institute, Imperial College London)
Wet gets wetter, salty gets saltier: How a changing global water cycle is revealing itself in the ocean

17:10 Peter Haynes (DAMTP, University of Cambridge)
The stratospheric water vapour puzzle?

17:40 Wine reception [Todd-Hamied Room]

Free registration now open

Tea/coffee will be provided

Speaker Bios:

Dr Louise Sime is the Paleoclimate group leader within the Ice Dynamics and Palaeoclimate team at the British Antarctic Survey. Her research is primarily concerned with understanding changes in ice sheets, sea ice, and climate in polar regions over the last 800,000 years. Much of her effort goes into understanding ice core observations by using water isotope data and climate model simulations. Stable water isotopes (deuterium and oxygen-18) in ice record represent a key long-term proxy record of climate. Using the stable water isotope in this way helps us better understand how ice sheets, sea ice, and climate behaved during past climate changes.

Dr Constantino Listowski works as a cloud physicist and modeller at the British Antarctic Survey. He is mainly interested in the modelling of tropospheric Antarctic cloud microphysics, focusing on both observations and high-resolution simulations. His field of expertise extends to other planetary atmospheres as well (e.g. Mars), where clouds can show both differences and similarities with the ones we observe on Earth.

Dr Chris Holloway is a Lecturer in Convection in the Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading.  He studies atmospheric convection, tropical weather and tropical climate.  Chris is particularly interested in the interaction between convection and larger-scale fields and the organisation of convection, including the vertical structure of temperature and moisture at various spatial scales. A related interest is the non-linear relationship between column water vapour and precipitation and how this relationship relates to distributions of convective clusters and the temporal evolution of convective systems.  He is also involved in efforts to improve the way current global weather and climate models represent convection.

Dr Tamsin O’Connell is a chemist specializing in isotopic analysis for palaeodiet and palaeoclimate. She heads the Dorothy Garrod Lab for Isotopic Analysis at the Department of Archaeology & Anthropology, University of Cambridge. Her research traces signals of diet and climate in human and animal tissues, primarily using carbon, nitrogen and oxygen isotopic analysis. She has worked on all periods from the modern to the Palaeolithic, and on material from all seven continents of the globe, with application to archaeology, ecology and epidemiology.

Dr Jan Zika is a senior research scientist at Imperial College London, based at the Department of Physics and the Grantham Institute – Climate Change and the Environment. He gained his PhD in mathematics and climate science from the University of New South Wales in 2010 after which he undertook research in Grenoble, France and most recently at the University of Southampton – National Oceanography Centre. He is fascinated by the role of the ocean and the cycle of water in the climate system. In his research, he has pioneered the application of classical thermodynamic methods to the earth system and has used these methods to help understand how the climate is responding to increases in greenhouse gases. He is the recipient of best PhD award from the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society and both a NERC Postdoctoral and Independent Research Fellowship.

Professor Peter Haynes has worked in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics since beginning as a PhD student, with a two-year intermission as a postdoc at University of Washington. His research focuses on the large-scale fluid dynamics of atmosphere and ocean, and related topics. In atmospheric science, these include the dynamics of the global circulation, the interactions between dynamics, chemistry and radiation, and the various physical and dynamical processes controlling the distributions of chemical species, including water vapour.