Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science (ICAS)

Met Office Academic Partnership

The University of Leeds is a member of the Met Office Academic Partnership. The partnership aims to combine the strengths of its four partner organisations, to secure the UK’s position as the world leader in weather forecasting and climate prediction, and to provide an outstanding environment to develop the atmospheric science leaders of the future. At Leeds, the partnership formalises a strong and productive working relationship with the Met Office, going back a number of years.

Use the links on the left hand side to find out more about our collaboration with the Met Office in the areas of research, teaching and staff development.

The partnership is structured around four research themes:

  • Atmospheric Observations and Processes: Here in Leeds we specialise in making field measurements of phenomena which are of importance in weather and climate. These measurements are often needed in remote parts of the world, or on small scales which the routine measurement network cannot capture. We use the measurements to develop new theoretical ideas, and to test and improve computer models of the atmosphere. Most of our work in this area is conducted in collaboration with the Met Office.
  • Atmospheric Composition: We have a strong programme of research into the chemistry and aerosol composition of the atmosphere. We combine laboratory measurements with field measurements and new models to explain the Earth's atmospheric composition and its variability, and to improve predictions. At Leeds, we maintain some world-class computer models of atmospheric composition: together, we are incorporating the developments from these models into Met Office weather and climate forecasts.
  • Climate Impacts: Populations in tropical regions are highly dependent on weather and climate for their well-being, notably through the influence of climate on rain-fed agriculture, health and water resources. Atmospheric scientists at Leeds specialise in the weather and climate of tropical regions, including the mechanisms driving tropical convection, and are working with the Met Office to improve representation of these processes in models. Historically work has centred on North and West Africa but is beginning to expand to other regions including India.
  • Weather, Climate and Social Science: This theme seeks to bring together the physical science expertise at the Met Office and at Leeds, with the social science expertise at Leeds to provide more useful and useable scientific, technical and applied information. In doing so, the theme seeks to promote novel scientific insight that enhances decision making and contributes to a safer and more sustainable future. The appointment of two joint University Academic Fellows is a key step to encourage and strengthen the links within the theme.

The partnership also involves collaboration in the teaching of Meteorology and Climate science and in staff development. The Met Office provides prizes for the best student results in our undergraduate and masters-level programmes, and a number of students every year undertake a summer research project at the Met Office in Exeter. A number of our graduates are now working at the Met Office, in a variety of roles. Met Office staff commonly take the opportunity to visit the University of Leeds, to conduct research, as part of their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme, or within joint research projects.

At Leeds, the collaboration is led by Doug Parker from the School of Earth and Environment, who holds the "Met Office Chair of Meteorology". On the Met Office side, our collaboration is coordinated by Paul Field, who as a Joint Professor holds positions at both the Met Office and at Leeds.

For more information on the Met Office Academic Partnership with the University of Leeds, please contact Doug Parker or Paul Field.