Dr Richard Gilham from the Met Office Hadley Centre will describe how our weather and climate are affected by processes occurring on vastly different timescales. These range from the vibration of bonds in single molecules to subtle but important changes in the Earth’s orbit. The periodic nature of these processes suggests that the planet can be considered as a large and very complicated oscillator. This talk sets out to understand the relative rates and magnitudes of these variations, and introduce the concept of the Earth System as a way of understanding and simulating our planet. This analogy is used to take a slightly different look at the issue of manmade climate change, and how one might make a decision about whether we should do anything about it.
The talk is aimed at an audience with an interest in and moderate knowledge of physical science. The level of technical language and assumed concepts used is anticipated to be easily accessible for first year science undergraduates.
About the speaker: Richard was born in Norfolk, and rapidly developed an interest in science at school. Following this, he gained his chemistry degree from the University of Birmingham, and remained there for his PhD in computational chemistry. In 2005, he then moved to the National Physical Laboratory in London where he set up and ran a sub-micron aerosol laboratory supporting a range of projects related to air quality. In 2010, he moved to the Met Office Hadley Centre in Exeter to work as a consultant in the climate impacts team. Since then, he has been working to combine his knowledge of air quality and measurement science with the modelling expertise of groups around the Met Office.