Prestigious recognition for Professor of Atmospheric Science


Professor Ken Carslaw has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in recognition for his invaluable contribution to science.

Professor Carslaw of the School of Earth and Environment has made important discoveries which have transformed our understanding of how aerosol particles affect Earth's climate and the composition of the atmosphere. 

He was a pioneer in the development of sophisticated global models of aerosol processes, including the Global Model of Aerosol Processes (GLOMAP) that is now implemented in the Met Office climate model. 

I’m delighted and humbled by this honour, knowing who has come before.

Professor Ken Carslow, School of Earth and Environment

He has been a leader in combining statistical methods and atmospheric measurements to generate information about the causes of model uncertainty. In doing so, he discovered the vital role of natural aerosols in modulating human-induced climate change. 

Research culture 

Professor Carslaw’s contributions to research culture include the co-founding of the European Geosciences Union Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. The journal pioneered a model of open-access publishing and transparent peer review in the geosciences.

As former Director of the Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science, Professor Carslaw created the Centre for Environmental Modelling and Computation. The centre supports research, teaching and training through computing expertise.

He said: “I’m delighted and humbled by this honour, knowing who has come before. Although it is a personal recognition, I am grateful to have worked with some outstanding scientists across all career stages and backgrounds who have shaped my thinking and my approach to leading a vibrant research group.

“Nothing gives me more pleasure than seeing early career scientists taking forward great ideas and expanding our knowledge.

“It has been a privilege to be part of the School of Earth and Environment as it has grown from a few scientists to a world-leading centre for atmospheric and climate research.”

Richly deserved recognition

Professor Hai-Sui Yu, Interim Vice-Chancellor and President said: “I offer my congratulations to Professor Carslaw and thank him for his globally significant work in helping us understand processes behind climate change.

“This richly deserved recognition again demonstrates the calibre of colleagues we have at Leeds, who devote their careers to tackling issues which affect us all.”

Professor Simon Kelley, Head of the School of Earth and Environment, added: “I’m thrilled that Ken’s world-leading contribution to the understanding of the interaction between aerosols and climate has been recognised by the scientific community.

“Ken is a truly great scientist and his work has been enhanced by the talented team that forms the Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science, the National Centre for Atmospheric Science and the Met Office Academic partnership.”

Sir Adrian Smith, President of the Royal Society, said: “I am pleased to welcome such an outstanding group into the Fellowship of the Royal Society. This new cohort have already made significant contributions to our understanding of the world around us and continue to push the boundaries of possibility in academic research and industry. 

“From visualising the sharp rise in global temperatures since the industrial revolution to leading the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, their diverse range of expertise is furthering human understanding and helping to address some of our greatest challenges. It is an honour to have them join the Fellowship.”

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