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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.


Methane Mitigation: Methods to Reduce Emissions, on the Path to the Paris Agreement
EG Nisbet, RE Fisher, D Lowry, JL France, G Allen, S Bakkaloglu, TJ Broderick, M Cain, M Coleman, J Fernandez, G Forster, PT Griffiths, CP Iverach, BFJ Kelly, MR Manning, PBR Nisbet-Jones, JA Pyle, A Townsend-Small, A al-Shalaan, N Warwick, G Zazzeri
– Reviews of Geophysics
ARTN e2019RG000675
On the changing role of the stratosphere on the tropospheric ozone budget: 1979-2010
P Griffiths, J Keeble, A Archibald, Y Shin, J Pyle, N Abraham
Delay in recovery of the Antarctic ozone hole from unexpected CFC-11 emissions.
SS Dhomse, W Feng, SA Montzka, R Hossaini, J Keeble, JA Pyle, JS Daniel, MP Chipperfield
– Nature communications
Modelling the potential impacts of the recent, unexpected increase in CFC-11 emissions on total column ozone recovery
J Keeble, NL Abraham, AT Archibald, MP Chipperfield, S Dhomse, PT Griffiths, JA Pyle
– Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Clear-sky ultraviolet radiation modelling using output from the Chemistry Climate Model Initiative
K Lamy, T Portafaix, B Josse, C Brogniez, S Godin-Beekmann, H Bencherif, L Revell, H Akiyoshi, S Bekki, MI Hegglin, P Jöckel, O Kirner, B Liley, V Marecal, O Morgenstern, A Stenke, G Zeng, N Luke Abraham, AT Archibald, N Butchart, MP Chipperfield, G Di Genova, M Deushi, SS Dhomse, RM Hu, D Kinnison, M Kotkamp, R McKenzie, M Michou, FM O'Connor, LD Oman, G Pitari, DA Plummer, JA Pyle, E Rozanov, D Saint-Martin, K Sudo, TY Tanaka, D Visioni, K Yoshida
– Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Separating the role of direct radiative heating and photolysis in modulating the atmospheric response to the amplitude of the 11-year solar cycle forcing
EM Bednarz, AC Maycock, P Braesicke, PJ Telford, NL Abraham, JA Pyle
– Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Challenges for the recovery of the ozone layer
X Fang, JA Pyle, MP Chipperfield, JS Daniel, S Park, RG Prinn
– Nature Geoscience
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 Discussions
Simulating the atmospheric response to the 11-year solar cycle forcing with the UM-UKCA model: the role of detection method and natural variability
EM Bednarz, AC Maycock, PJ Telford, P Braesicke, N Luke Abraham, JA Pyle
– Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Prescribing Zonally Asymmetric Ozone Climatologies in Climate Models: Performance Compared to a Chemistry‐Climate Model
CD Rae, J Keeble, P Hitchcock, JA Pyle
– J Adv Model Earth Syst
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Centre Highlights

• January 2024: The CCPG have successfully submitted a proposal for PACESETTERS!

• September 2nd 2023: Dr Annela Anger-Kraavi has co-authored a paper analysing just transition narratives in European coal regions. Read the paper here

• December 13th 2022: The CCPG have co-authored a paper on game-changing innovations towards net-zero, published in Energy Strategy Reviews. Read the open access paper here.

• 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

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


Group leader

Research Interest Groups

Telephone number

01223 336473