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 press.

Wood, T., C. M. McKenna, A. Chrysanthou, A. C. Maycock, Role of sea surface temperature patterns for the Southern hemisphere jet stream response to CO2 forcing, Environmental Research Letters, in revision. 

Research interests

  • Large-scale atmospheric circulation
  • Stratospheric-troposphere coupling
  • Climate dynamics
  • Climate variability
  • Climate modelling
  • Large Ensembles
<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