Dr Christine McKenna

Dr Christine McKenna


I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow working on the EU-funded CONSTRAIN project. In this project I am looking at future projections of large-scale atmospheric circulation change, with the aim of constraining uncertainty in these projections. 

Before coming to Leeds, I studied for my PhD at the British Antarctic Survey and University of Cambridge (DAMTP). This was under the supervision of Tom Bracegirdle, Peter Haynes, and Emily Shuckburgh. In my PhD I used an intermediate global circulation model, IGCM4, to look at how the large-scale atmospheric circulation changes in response to future Arctic sea-ice loss. In particular, I examined whether the response is sensitive to different regions or magnitudes of sea-ice loss, and the relative roles played by tropospheric and stratospheric mechanisms. I also looked at the influence of atmospheric internal variability with regards to uncertainty in simulated atmospheric responses to sea-ice loss.

Papers in review:

McKenna C. M., A. C. Maycock, P. M. Forster, C. J. Smith, K. B. Tokarska, Stringent mitigation substantially reduces risk of unprecedented near-term warming rates, Nature Climate Change, in revision

Papers in preparation:

Wood, T., C. M. McKenna, A. Chrysanthou, A. C. Maycock, Revisiting the relationship between dynamical sensitivity and climate sensitivity in the Southern hemisphere, in prep.

Research interests

  • Large-scale atmospheric circulation
  • Stratospheric-troposphere coupling
  • Climate dynamics
  • Climate variability
  • Climate modelling
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD Atmospheric Dynamics - University of Cambridge and British Antarctic Survey, 2019
  • MSc Atmosphere, Ocean, and Climate - University of Reading, 2015
  • BSc Geography and Mathematics - University of St Andrews, 2014

Professional memberships

  • Royal Meteorological Society

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science