skip to content

Centre for Atmospheric Science

What I do

My research involves the use of state-of-the-art numerical models, run on supercomputers, to study the processes controlling the present state of the atmosphere and its evolution. A NERC Unit, the Atmospheric Chemistry Modelling Support Unit, is incorporated into the group.

Current research activities include:

Stratospheric Modelling

The chemistry, dynamics and radiative transfer of the stratosphere are being studied using a number of numerical models. Three particular problems being tackled are (i) the rapid depletion of ozone found recently in the polar spring, the so-called 'ozone hole', (ii) the more gradual decline in northern hemisphere ozone levels (which we have recently ascribed partly to long-term changes in atmospheric flow, and (iii) the effect on stratospheric ozone of increasing concentrations of CO2, CH4, N2O and the chlorofluorocarbons.

Tropospheric Modelling

We have developed a range of models for studying the chemistry of the lower atmosphere, from complex 3D models to models based on air parcel trajectories. A major research theme is the changing oxidizing capacity of the troposphere (the ability of the troposphere to cleanse itself of pollution). An important part of our work includes involvement in field campaigns.

Chemistry/climate interactions

These interactions have become a major research topic in recent years. We have included a detailed chemistry package into the Met Office's climate model, to study composition change since the industrial revolution and into the future. We have calculated the change in surface ozone at the end of this century, under certain assumptions about changing industrial emissions. The change is very climate-dependent, but shows massive increases (which are expected to lead to major health problems) over some of the continents.

Atmospheric composition measurements

We have developed lightweight gas chromatography instruments to measure halocarbons. These have been deployed from balloons and high-flying research aircraft.

Many of the problems addressed are of an interdisciplinary nature. Members of the group, which numbers about 20 postdoctoral researchers and students, come from a wide range of backgrounds in mathematics and physical science. Within Cambridge we collaborate closely with scientists at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics.


Integrated ozone depletion as a metric for ozone recovery.
JA Pyle, J Keeble, NL Abraham, MP Chipperfield, PT Griffiths
– Nature
Using Machine Learning to Make Computationally Inexpensive Projections of 21st Century Stratospheric Column Ozone Changes in the Tropics
J Keeble, YYS Yiu, AT Archibald, F O’Connor, A Sellar, J Walton, JA Pyle
– Frontiers in Earth Science
Facility level measurement of offshore oil and gas installations from a medium-sized airborne platform: method development for quantification and source identification of methane emissions
JL France, P Bateson, P Dominutti, G Allen, S Andrews, S Bauguitte, M Coleman, T Lachlan-Cope, RE Fisher, L Huang, AE Jones, J Lee, D Lowry, J Pitt, R Purvis, J Pyle, J Shaw, N Warwick, A Weiss, S Wilde, J Witherstone, S Young
– Atmospheric Measurement Techniques
Methane Emissions in a Chemistry-Climate Model: Feedbacks and Climate Response.
I Heimann, PT Griffiths, NJ Warwick, NL Abraham, AT Archibald, JA Pyle
– Journal of advances in modeling earth systems
Global Air Quality, past present and future: an introduction.
D Fowler, JA Pyle, MA Sutton, ML Williams
– Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences
Modelling the potential impacts of the recent, unexpected increase in CFC-11 emissions on total column ozone recovery
J Keeble, N Luke Abraham, AT Archibald, MP Chipperfield, S Dhomse, PT Griffiths, JA Pyle
– Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
On the Changing Role of the Stratosphere on the Tropospheric Ozone Budget: 1979–2010
PT Griffiths, J Keeble, YM Shin, NL Abraham, AT Archibald, JA Pyle
– Geophysical Research Letters
The Influence of Zonally Asymmetric Stratospheric Ozone Changes on the Arctic Polar Vortex Shift
J Zhang, W Tian, F Xie, JA Pyle, J Keeble, T Wang
– Journal of Climate
Atmospheric composition changes in CMIP6 experiments over the North Atlantic region
P Griffiths, J Keeble, F O'Connor, A Archibald, J Pyle
IDirac: A field-portable instrument for long-term autonomous measurements of isoprene and selected VOCs
CG Bolas, V Ferracci, AD Robinson, MI Mead, MSM Nadzir, JA Pyle, RL Jones, NRP Harris
– Atmospheric Measurement Techniques
  • 1 of 45
  • >

Centre Highlights

• November 15th 2022: The final conference of PARIS REINFORCE is taking place today in Sorbonne. Read more about the event here

• October 24th 2022: The CCPG have successfully submitted a proposal for the Cambridge-Tsinghua joint research initiative! 

• May 5th 2022: We've submitted to the UNFCCC's Global Stocktake (GST). More information is available on our news page. 

• March 23rd 2022: Multiple CAS academics have published a paper investigating the future role of anthropogenic methane emissions. Read the open access paper here.

• Feb 18th 2022: Dr Parris and Dr Anger-Kraavi have co-authored a paper that develops a tool to support co-designed transformative change. Read the open access paper here.

• Dec 16th 2021: Dr Parris has co-authored a paper that introduces a tool to support plastic pollution policy. Read the open access paper here.

• Nov 22nd 2021: Dr Anger-Kraavi has co-authored a paper with Paris Reinforce. Read the open access version here

• Nov 3rd 2021: Watch Dr Anger-Kraavi at the COP26 side event: Accelerating Implementation of the Paris Agreement - Ambition and Just Transitions via YouTube.

• Oct 18th 2021: Watch Dr Anger-Kraavi on Cambridge Talks: Can leaders turn Paris ambition into Glasgow action at COP26? via YouTube.

• Oct 11th 2021: Listen to the CCPG's Dr Anger-Kraavi speak about the upcoming COP26 on Tyndall Talks via Spotify.

• April 24th 2021: Listen to Dr Anger-Kraavi speak about the cost of climate reform on the BBC's The Real Story via their website

• May 14th 2020: Watch Dr Chiara Giorio speak about climate, ice cores and atmospheric particles on YouTube

Want to know more about our high-profile publications? Check out our Publication Highlights!


Group leader

Research Interest Groups

Telephone number

01223 336473