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 impacts of solar and space weather on the chemistry of the Earth's atmosphere. Project work involves improving 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).

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. It is my responsibility to develop the neutral and ion chemistry scheme of the model through UKCA. This will enable me to perform chemistry-climate simulations with a space weather influence. I plan to explore the meteorological implications of the 11-year solar cycle and space weather events through stratospheric ozone feedbacks.

WACCM already has an efficient neutral and ion 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