Tim Trent

Primary Research Areas

Climate and Variability of Water Vapour in the Troposphere

Water vapour is the most important non-anthropogenic greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. Crucial in regulating climate it affects all key global atmospheric processes, either by directly affecting the Earths radiative balance through the storage of longwave radiation as latent heat or indirectly by reflecting shortwave radiation effecting surface fluxes and soil moisture . Yet is sufficiently abundant and short lived that it is essentially under natural control (Sherwood et al 2010). However, this control means water vapour has a dominant positive feedback, variable making it critical for climate studies (Trenberth et al 2005) as well for improved weather forecasting. Therefore it is important to provide consistent water vapour estimates with increased accuracy and well defined errors.

The launch of NASA’s Aqua Platform in May 2002 heralded the beginning of the use of next generation hyperspectral infrared sounders for meteorological and climate applications. The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), the first of these new thermal infrared sounders has provided information of tropospheric water vapour with a much higher resolution than before providing us new insights into atmospheric concentrations and variability. With the launch of new operational instruments such as the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferomter (IASI) in October 2006 and the Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) in October 2011 we will have datasets spanning between 30-50 years into the future. My PhD focuses on assessing and exploiting  data from these sounders for climate studies.


Selected Publications

  • Sembhi, H., Remedios, J., Trent, T., Moore, D. P., Spang, R., Massie, S., and Vernier, J.-P.: MIPAS detection of cloud and aerosol particle occurrence in the UTLS with comparison to HIRDLS and CALIOP, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 5, 2537-2553, doi:10.5194/amt-5-2537-2012, 2012
  • Catherine Muller, S Roberts, R Wilson, J Remedios, S Illinworth, R Graves, T Trent, J Henderson, J Wilkinson and M Wilkinson, "The Blue Marble: a model for primary school STEM outreach", 2013, Phys. Educ., 48:2, 176, doi:10.1088/0031-9120/48/2/176



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  • EOS congratulates Robert Parker on the award of an ESA Living Planet Fellowship in exploring the global carbon cycle through observations of greenhouse gas atmospheric variability.
  • EOS is pleased to announce that the NERC National Centre for Earth Observation is now led from the University of Leicester under the Directorship of Professor John Remedios.
  • EOS congratulates Joshua Vande Hey on the award of a NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellowship.

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