Met Office

The University of Leeds and the Met Office work in partnership on weather and climate research and education. In 2010, the Met Office brought together a group of leading UK research institutions, including the University of Leeds, to form the Met Office Academic Partnership (MOAP). The partnership aims to accelerate the pace of research to meet challenges in the science of weather forecasting and climate prediction. It also seeks to provide an outstanding environment to develop the atmospheric science leaders of the future through excellent scientific training and knowledge exchange.

Research

Our scientists work in partnership on research within three core themes:

1. Atmospheric observations and processes
The research collaboration includes undertaking 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. The measurements are used to develop new theoretical ideas, and to test and improve computer models of the atmosphere.

2. Atmospheric composition
The University of Leeds has a leading programme of research into the chemistry and aerosol composition of the atmosphere, including the development and maintenance of world-class computer models of atmospheric composition. Laboratory measurements are combined with field measurements and new models to explain the Earth's atmospheric composition and its variability, and to improve predictions. Developments from these models are incorporated into Met Office weather and climate forecasts.

3. Climate impacts in tropical regions
Scientists at the University of Leeds and the Met Office collaborate on understanding the weather and climate of tropical regions and improving the representation of processes driving tropical convection in models. Climate impacts scientists model the impact of projected climate change on crop yields and social scientists specialise in the impact of a changing climate on livelihoods. A significant proportion of our joint programme of work is focused on Africa.

The partnership operates across a variety of scientific disciplines beyond the core climate and atmospheric science themes, with activity connected to work in Chemistry, Applied Mathematics and Engineering.


Impact and innovation

The Met office is a key partner in ensuring societal and economic benefits from the leading climate and atmospheric science research undertaken at the University of Leeds. Examples of our joint interests in this area include:
• Improving weather forecasting and climate prediction, by integrating the latest scientific understanding of physical processes, into numerical models.
• Contributing to the development of new climate services focused on the requirements of the groups that are to use them.
• Providing advice to government on the risks associated with volcanic eruptions in Iceland.
• Improving assessment of small wind energy developments.

Our partnership in practice

The partnership seeks to provide an outstanding environment to develop the atmospheric science leaders of the future through excellent scientific training and knowledge exchange.

1. Joint positions
Several Met Office and University of Leeds scientists hold joint research positions, enabling a close working relationship in research and teaching to be maintained.


2. Secondments and professional development
The partnership has a secondment scheme whereby scientists can apply for a short secondment at the University or the Met Office. Such secondments are an excellent way to support staff development, joint publications and knowledge transfer.

3. PhD students
Many research students at the University of Leeds have in recent years been co-funded and co-supervised by the Met Office through the Collaborative Award in Science and Engineering (CASE) scheme. This scheme creates a framework for embedding the student's research into the science programme of the Met Office, and gives the student excellent experience of the practically-focussed research done by the Met Office.

4. Seminars and teaching
Our scientists regularly give seminars at the University of Leeds and the Met Office. The partnership also provides opportunities for University of Leeds students enrolled on relevant programmes.