How is our planet changing and what are the implications for life on Earth? How can environmental data help us live more sustainably? With our research spanning the oceans, land, atmosphere, magnetosphere and solar system, we are tackling such questions.
The division’s efforts to better understand our planet are far-reaching and exploit a variety of remote observations, including information sourced from sensors on Earth-orbiting satellites.
Rooted in fundamental physics and advanced mathematics, our work ranges from helping farmers and insurers offset agricultural risks from drought and floods through the monitoring of precipitation across Africa to predicting “space weather” with the aim of avoiding disruptions associated with solar storms.
We have strong links with leading meteorological and observational organisations – including the National Centre for Earth Observation, Met Office and ECMWF – and work closely with international space agencies such as UKSA, ESA, EUMETSAT and NASA.
An innovative system for estimating rainfall developed by the Earth Observation and Space Division is directly benefiting the lives of 250 million people across Africa.
The TAMSAT (Tropical Application of Meteorology using Satellite data and ground-based observations) programme provides early warning of potential food shortage crises by integrating data sources to better identify weather patterns likely to result in low crop yields.
Improving food security and humanitarian aid planning in sub-Saharan Africa, the research project has also helped establish weather-based index insurance schemes which protect farmers against the risks of droughts and floods.
- The TAMSAT (Tropical Applications of Meteorology using SATellite data and ground-based observations) programme has been helping farmers across Africa. Our team uses satellite imagery, calibrated against ground observations, for estimating rainfall. This is helping to inform and improve food security, humanitarian aid, and agricultural and economic planning in several African countries.
- Solar Stormwatch is a citizen science project, which identifies and tracks Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) in the Heliospheric Imager (HI) data recorded by the twin STEREO satellites.
- The FIDUCEO project brings insights from metrology (measurement science) to the observation of Earth’s climate from space. We will produce nine datasets and a suite of software tools, which will be made available under the Creative Commons licence, where possible.
- Our EMPIRE data assimilation codes enable model developers to change the source code of their work in order to simplify and speed up data assimilation.
Barnard, L., Scott, C., Owens, M., Lockwood, M., Tucker-Hood, K., Thomas, S., Crothers, S., Davies, J. A., Harrison, R., Lintott, C., Simpson, R., O'Donnell, J., Smith, A. M., Waterson, N., Bamford, S., Romeo, F., Kukula, M., Owens, B., Savani, N., Wilkinson, J., Baeten, E., Poeffel, L. and Harder, B. (2014) The Solar Stormwatch CME catalogue: results from the first space weather citizen science project. Space Weather, 12 (12). pp. 657-674. ISSN 1542-7390 doi: 10.1002/2014SW001119
Van Leeuwen, P. J. (2015) Representation errors and retrievals in linear and nonlinear data assimilation. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 141 (690). pp. 1612-1623. ISSN 1477-870X doi: 10.1002/qj.2464
Black, E., Mithen, S., Hoskins, B. and Cornforth, R. (2010) Water and society: past, present and future. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 368 (1931). pp. 5107-5110. ISSN 1364-503X doi: 10.1098/rsta.2010.0216
Illingworth, A. J., Cimini, D., Gaffard, C., Haeffelin, M., Lehmann, V., Löhnert, U., O’Connor, E. J. and Ruffieux, D. (2015) Exploiting existing ground-based remote sensing networks to improve high-resolution weather forecasts. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 96 (12). pp. 2107-2125. ISSN 1520-0477 doi: 10.1175/BAMS-D-13-00283.1
Merchant, C. J., Matthiesen, S., Rayner, N. A., Remedios, J. J., Jones, P. D., Olesen, F., Trewin, B., Thorne, P. W., Auchmann, R., Corlett, G. K., Guillevic, P. C. and Hulley, G. C. (2013) The surface temperatures of Earth: steps towards integrated understanding of variability and change. Geoscientific Instrumentation, Methods and Data Systems, 2 (2). pp. 305-321. ISSN 2193-0864 doi: 10.5194/gi-2-305-2013
Find out more about funded PhD opportunities within our research division and the Department of Meteorology: