Dr Gillian Young
- Position: NERC Independent Research Fellow
- Areas of expertise: Polar cloud modelling; aerosol-cloud radiation interactions; primary & secondary ice production; polar boundary layers; atmospheric modelling across large-eddy simulation, regional, and global scales
- Email: G.Young1@leeds.ac.uk
- Website: Github | Twitter | ORCID
I joined the Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science (ICAS) in March 2019 as a Research Fellow on the Microbiology-Ocean-Cloud Coupling in the High Arctic (MOCCHA) project, modelling central Arctic clouds with the Met Office Unified Model and Met Office NERC Cloud model. Prior to Leeds, I worked as a cloud physicist at the British Antarctic Survey on the Microphysics of Antarctic Clouds (MAC) campaign, modelling Antarctic cloud physics with the Weather Research and Forecasting model. I completed my PhD in Atmospheric Physics at the University of Manchester in 2016, as part of the Aerosol-Cloud-Coupling And Climate Interactions in the Arctic (ACCACIA) campaign, using both measurements and a large eddy simulation model to further our understanding of Arctic cloud physics and aerosol-cloud interactions.
As of Jan 2022, I will be working as a NERC Independent Research Fellow within ICAS on the Tackling the Arctic Cloud Problem project.
External to Leeds:
- Secretary of the International Arctic Science Committee Atmosphere Working Group. Early Career Fellow (2018-21) with the IASC Atmosphere Working Group prior to my appointment with the Secretariat.
- Chair/Co-Founder of the Quantifying the Indirect Effect: from Sources to Climate Effects of Natural and Transported aerosol in the Arctic (QuIESCENT Arctic) initiative
- Member of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) Antarctic Clouds and Aerosols Action Group
- Member of the air Pollution in the Arctic: Climate, Environment, and Societies (PACES) scientific steering committee.
As a cloud physicist, I study the small-scale interactions in polar clouds which drive their development, evolution, and lifetime. I've used a number of numerical models – at large eddy simulation, numerical weather prediction, and global scales – to conduct detailed studies of the physical processes within Arctic and Antarctic clouds.
The interaction between aerosol particles and clouds is a key uncertainty in general circulation models, and I am interested in the how these interactions affect cloud microphysical properties in the unique polar environment. Polar clouds differ from their mid-latitude counterparts in a number of ways but, most importantly, they are often mixed-phase (containing both liquid cloud droplets and ice crystals), long-lived, and therefore very difficult to model. I use observations to develop the representation of present-day polar clouds in high-resolution numerical models, improving our understanding of the small-scale physical processes which occur within them and enabling us to make judgements about how they may be affected by a changing climate. A key problem with making predictions of polar clouds is their microphysical sensitivity to different particle sources and meteorological forcings, both of which large-scale models fail to capture correctly. Polar aerosol sources range from local to distant – via long-range transport pathways – thus adding further complexity into understanding aerosol-cloud interactions: if we don’t know what aerosol are there, then we cannot truly understand how important they are in influencing the clouds in the region.
Or, to summarise:
- Mixed-phase cloud microphysics
- Polar boundary layer processes
- Aerosol-cloud-radiation interactions
- Arctic and Antarctic aerosol chemistry
- PhD Atmospheric Physics, University of Manchester (2016)
- MSci Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow (2013)
- International Arctic Science Committee
Research groups and institutes
- Atmospheric and Cloud Dynamics
- Atmospheric Chemistry and Aerosols
- Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science