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Research Fellows Directory

Piers Forster

Professor Piers Forster

Research Fellow


University of Leeds

Research summary

I work on physical aspects of climate change research. My personal research has concentrated on causes of the slowdown in global temperature change over 1998-2015. Additionally, I led a large UK geoengineering research project which finished in February 2015. This is still producing useful publications

The work on the slowdown led to Nature and Nature geoscience papers in 2015. And a large NERC Highlight topic grant. £3M. We found that climate models correctly capture observed decadal variability in temperatures. Furthermore, the uncertainty in the historical evolution of temperature is almost entirely due to the uncertainty in the cooling effects of aerosols (small particles produced from manmade activity). Uncertainty in the climate response and how the oceans take up heat are largely irrelevant. This work is important as it underlines the trustworthiness of our climate models for making projections of climate.

Our geoengineering project has led a a paper looking at cooling effects from ship wakes by reflecting sunlight.

Other work is beginning to examine the targets set out in the Paris Agreement on Climate in December 2015, and in particular the plausibility of the well below 2C and 1.5 C temperature targets.

Interests and expertise (Subject groups)

Grants awarded

Climate mitigation by short lived species

Scheme: Wolfson Research Merit Awards

Dates: Nov 2011 - Oct 2016

Value: £50,000