Earth’s climate from space

Posted by vm64 at Feb 25, 2011 02:53 PM |
Public lecture at University of Leicester on 1 March

Issued by University of Leicester on 25 February 2011

The Head of Earth Observation Science at the University of Leicester will use information from the latest space technology to present a view of the earth’s climate at a free public lecture.

Professor John Remedios, from the University of Leicester’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, will explore aspects of the current state of the Earth’s climate.

Improvements in satellite technology have increased accuracy of the obtained global data on temperature, greenhouse gases and the more chemically active constituents of the atmosphere, illustrating the disturbance of current climate balances due to both human-related activities and natural variations. 

Professor Remedios will look at some of the issues and use observations from the latest space technology to improve understanding of the Earth’s climate system and its sensitivity.

He said: “The Earth’s climate is intrinsically bound to the relationship between its temperature structure and the composition of its atmosphere; and as these evolve, the climate will continue to change. It is at one level simple to characterise and at another level, that of sensitivity, variability and predictability, is quite complex.

“To illustrate this duality, the lecture will explore the relationship between the temperature of the planet and the concentrations of gases and particles (aerosol and clouds) in its atmosphere.”

Professor Remedios said space observations are playing an increasing role in monitoring and understanding our climate -quite radically different to that of two decades ago.

He said: “It is crucial that we understand what these systems tell us about the Earth and its sensitivity to change. Not only do they show us, with high accuracy, what is happening to surface temperature but they also show us the intrinsic links between temperature and the composition of our atmosphere. Sometimes, the consequences can be quite radical where temperature thresholds exist, such as in polar ozone loss or the effects of forest fires. The results are both simple to demonstrate but complex for model predictions of future climate.”

‘Hot houses to cool clouds: Earth’s climate from space’ is free of charge and open to the public. The lecture takes place at 5.30pm on Tuesday March 1 in Lecture Theatre 1 in the Ken Edwards Building.

A reception will follow at 6.30pm in the Park Side Lounge on the fifth floor of the Charles Wilson Building. 

Notes to Editors

For more information, please contact Professor Remedios at or via Andrea Hall on 0116 2522016.

About John Remedios

John Remedios studied at Oxford University where he received his BA Honours in 1982. He stayed in Oxford to study for his D. Phil, working on a project jointly between Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics (AOPP) in Oxford and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL). His received his doctorate in 1991 for a thesis entitled “Spectroscopy for Remote Sounding of the Atmosphere”. This work provided spectroscopic information from the laboratory, particularly for water vapour, to enable more accurate satellite measurements to be performed in the Earth’s stratosphere.

John was to stay in Oxford, working both in AOPP and RAL for the next decade, also taking up a Senior Research Fellowship in Environmental Science at St. Peter’s College. During this time he worked mainly on a UK instrument ISAMS on-board the NASA Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, which investigated the causes and morphology of stratospheric ozone depletion. This time included a visit to the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in 1997, which although short, reinforced his growing interest in satellite measurements of the lower atmosphere, i.e. the troposphere.

In March 2000, John was appointed to a lectureship in the Physics and Astronomy department and became Head of the Earth Observation Science in 2002 and a Senior Lecturer.  His interests have very much focused on atmosphere composition and surface temperatures for climate as a result of which he has been invited on to numerous satellite teams including those for the AATSR and MIPAS instruments on ENVISAT, and the GERB instrument on MSG. In 2009 he was appointed to the Earth Sciences Advisory Committee of the European Space Agency which advises ESA on Earth Observation science missions, their selection, implementation and overall strategy. He also chairs a number of groups at national level including NERC grant panels and government advisory groups (the Defra GMES atmosphere networking group). He is involved prominently in both the NERC National Centre for Earth Observation and the NERC/TSB Centre for Earth Observation Instrumentation.

Violetta Mertins

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