A winter trip to Leeds, with NAO and trees!

By Rémy Bonnet, Postdoctoral Researcher, Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace (IPSL), Paris

Between October and December last year, I had the opportunity to undertake a secondment at the University of Leeds of about 2 months as part of the CONSTRAIN project.  The secondment was a great opportunity to collaborate with other people from the project, as well as to meet other scientists, and to discover Leeds and its surroundings.

During my time in Leeds I worked with Dr Amanda Maycock and Dr Christine McKenna on efforts to better characterise and understand the systematic underestimation of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) low-frequency variability, a mode of variability characterized by differences in pressure at sea level between the Icelandic Low and the Azores High.

This influences the climate in Europe by controlling the strength and direction of westerly winds and the location of storm tracks across the North Atlantic. This work is still ongoing, with a focus on the coupling between the ocean and the atmosphere in climate models at the origin of this underestimation.

While I was in Leeds, I also took advantage of the environment provided by the University of Leeds’s Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science, which held regular science seminars and gave me the opportunity to meet other young scientists.

I also participated in a different kind of climate action with other colleagues from CONSTRAIN, planting native trees in the upland Yorkshire Dales for Wild Ingleborough.  It was a very enjoyable day despite the cold and the wind, which were offset by a magnificent sunset and mulled wine in the pub underneath the famous Ribblehead Viaduct!