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:

Edwards T. L., S. Nowicki, H. Goelzer, H. Seroussi, B. Marzeion, C. J. Smith, N. C. Jourdain, D. Slater, C. M. McKenna, et al., Projected land ice contributions to 21st century sea level rise, Nature, in press.

Huang J., P. Hitchcock, A. C. Maycock, C. M. McKenna and W. Tian. Risk of Severe Cold Air Outbreaks Substantially Higher during Weak Polar Vortex Conditions, Communications Earth & Environment, in revision.

McKenna C. M. and A. C. Maycock, Multi-Model Large Ensemble projections of the North Atlantic Oscillation during the 21st century, Geophysical Research Letters, submitted 03/21.

In preparation:

McKenna C. M., T. J. Bracegirdle, P. H. Haynes and E. F. Shuckburgh, Separating the forced tropospheric and stratospheric circulation responses to future Arctic sea-ice loss from internal variability, in prep. 

Research interests

  • Large-scale atmospheric circulation
  • Stratosphere-troposphere coupling
  • Extratropics 
  • Climate dynamics
  • Climate variability
  • Climate modelling
  • Large “initial-condition” ensembles (LEs)
<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