Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science (ICAS)

 

The National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) at Leeds

Plane
Model

"NCAS Provide leadership and world-class research in fieldwork and modelling studies to improve UK predictions of weather and climate", ICAS Director

NCAS at Leeds is involved in all of the NCAS research programmes:

  • The science of climate change, including modelling and predictions
  • Atmospheric composition, including air quality
  • Atmospheric Physics, including hazardous weather
  • Technologies for observing and modelling the atmosphere
Observers witnessing floodwaters in town

 

NCAS provide key leadership and fundamental research on modelling, fieldwork, and technological developments that are aimed at improving our predictions of weather and climate, and contribute to maintaining the UK at the forefront in atmospheric science. 

Twister in background whilst researcher sets up equiptment
Researcher with weather balloon
Fallen tree on crushed car

 

 

 

Commitment to leading national capability in atmospheric science

SEE, University of Leeds
School of Earth and Environment

In addition to the NCAS head office being situated at the University of Leeds, NCAS at Leeds also provides leadership to the UK research community in the area of atmospheric measurements through the Atmospheric Measurement Facility (AMF).

AMF is an integral part of the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, consisting of a distributed set of ground-based and specialised airborne (FAAM) instruments in the UK that are designed to make measurements of small-scale and meso-scale physical and chemical features in the atmosphere. AMF is closely linked to NCAS's Atmospheric Physics directorate, NCAS Air Quality and to the Met Office. It makes field and airborne observations, operates and/or works with atmospheric observatories and performs laboratory and calibration studies.

 

 

Commitment to leading atmospheric science research

The NCAS Centre at the University of Leeds also supports the wider research community through our commitment to address nationally and internationally important research areas such as:

Instrument development

We develop bespoke instruments to make measurements of important atmospheric properties that are essential to improving the UK modelling of the atmosphere. For example, we have developed digital rain gauges for deployment in Africa and miniaturised sensor of use on UAVs. Instruments are developed for use by the UK research community through AMF. To find out more contact Dr Barbara Brooks.

 

 

Wind turbine
Satellite
Laboratory

Commitment to leading atmospheric science research

The NCAS Centre at the University of Leeds also supports the wider research community through our commitment to address nationally and internationally important research areas such as:

Global and regional aerosol modelling

The IPCC highlights clouds and aerosols as one of the most influential yet uncertain factors in predicting climate change. Our research aims to improve our understanding of processes and their representation in the models that are used by the UK to predict climate and weather. We collaborate with our Met Office partner in guiding the current and future ways in which we will tackle these difficult problems. For example, NCAS research at Leeds is leading the development of United Kingdom Chemistry and Aerosols Model (UKCA), a model used by UK researchers.

To read more click here or contact Prof Ken Carslaw

Global climate and earth system modelling for past and future climate scenarios

Model of climate sensitivity

Understanding how climate has changed in the past provides a means to place future predictions into context. Earth history is a natural laboratory in which to explore the predictive ability of models used to understand modern and future climate. Our research aims to improve our understanding of how sensitive different components of the Earth’s climate system are, and how they may behave under regimes of global temperature that are likely to characterise the future, and that also existed in Earth’s geological past.  To read more click here or contact Prof Alan Haywood.

Atmospheric dynamics and cloud processes

Cloud

We research a range of processes that are critical to forecasting high-impact weather and predicting climate change, for example, mid-latitude storms, deep convection and flow over orography. The work involves  national and international fieldwork campaigns and  high-resolution process modelling.  These results are used to understand the limitations of UK operational models and to develop the parameterisations for use by the UK community.  To read more click here or contact Prof Alan Blyth.

Global chemistry transport modelling

Artic ozone loss graphic

The study of global pollution issues, such as stratospheric ozone depletion and surface air quality, requires detailed and comprehensive models of atmospheric chemistry. At Leeds we develop and maintain a stratosphere-troposphere chemistry-aerosol model for the UK community. Technological development ensures that this model runs efficiently at high resolution on current high performance computers. At Leeds we develop and maintain a stratosphere-troposphere chemistry-aerosol model for the UK community and supply model results to groups worldwide for comparison with observations. To read more click here or contact Prof Martyn Chipperfield.

Model dynamics

Cloud

Ensuring our models are based on the optimal dynamical equations sets is essential for ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of climate and weather prediction. NCAS researchers at Leeds are leading the work in this area and helping to ensure that UK numerical weather forecasting models are ideally suited for future UK research needs and computer systems. To read more click here or contact Dr Alan Gadian or Prof Stephen Mobbs.

Instrument development

Instrument at sea

We develop bespoke instruments to make measurements of important atmospheric properties that are essential to improving the UK modelling of the atmosphere. For example, we have developed a compact lightweight aerosol spectrometer probe (CLASP) suitable for making size resolved aerosol measurements. Instruments are developed for use by the UK research community through FGAM. To read more click here or contact Dr Barbara Brooks.