School of Earth and Environment

Met Office Academic Partnership

The University of Leeds is a founding member of the Met Office Academic Partnership. The partnership aims 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: The world's populations are dependent on weather and climate for their well-being, notably through the influence of climate on agriculture, health and water resources. In this theme we collaborate over the development and use of models for climate impacts, especially in the area of agricultural prediction. We apply the outputs of physical climate models to computational models for crop yields. We collaborate with social scientists to convey our impacts work to climate services.
  • Weather, Climate and Social Science: This theme links the physical science expertise of the partnership with the social science expertise at Leeds, bringing together the scientific, technical and applied knowledge to support and promote novel scientific insights, enhance decision making and ultimately contributing to a safer and more sustainable future. This theme covers both UK and international services, weather and climate communication, and also climate and food security.

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.

The work of the partnership is supported by a Joint Research Unit (JRU) of Met Office and University researchers, located at the University of Leeds.

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 has a joint Professorial position at Leeds.

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