Christopher Kelly

Christopher Kelly


I joined the University of Leeds in October 2016 to start my NERC industrial CASE studentship with the Met Office. I am part of Prof. Martyn Chipperfield’s Atmospheric Chemistry Modelling group and Prof. John Plane’s Atmospheric and Planetary Chemistry group. I was previously at the University of Exeter, where I studied Physics with Astrophysics as an undergraduate. During my degree, I completed a summer placement in the Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading.

Research interests

My research focuses on the chemistry and composition of the Earth’s upper atmosphere. I am particularly interested in furthering our understanding of the impacts on this region from solar and space weather. Project work involves developing chemistry-climate models by adding chemical reactions and production mechanisms into the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT). Specifically, I am working with the Met Office Unified Model - United Kingdom Chemistry and Aerosol (UM-UKCA) model, and the NCAR Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM). There is evidence that upper atmospheric chemical phenomena influence weather and climate at the Earth’s surface. Therefore, providing adequate representation of such processes in models is an essential step towards improving both our forecasting capabilities and understanding of climate.

My work with the UM-UKCA contributes towards a larger project led by the Met Office, tasked to extend the lid of the UM into the lower thermosphere (~140 km initially). This project forms a strategic step towards a Sun-Earth coupled forecasting system. WACCM already has an efficient chemistry scheme in the MLT. This provides a resource for both validating my UM-UKCA developments an enabling me to perform separate studies. My completed projects include simulations to provide quantitative support to Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment - Fourier Transform Spectrometer (ACE-FTS) satellite measurements of a previously overlooked source of nitrous oxide in the MLT.


  • BSc Physics with Astrophysics, University of Exeter, 2016

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science
  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Aerosols