Dr James While

James works on data assimilation in marine systems; of particular interest is data assimilation in shelf sea models.

Current activities

James is currently involved in a project to implement data assimilation in the Met Offices shelf seas configuration of NEMO ocean model. The immediate goal of this project is to implement SST assimilation into the model by porting the data assimilation system used in FOAM. This project is made challenging by the complex shelf seas environment. In particular, correlation scales on the shelf are often strongly anisotropic and much shorter than in the open ocean.

James is also involved in an ongoing project to assimilate pCO2 data into ocean models. A method for doing this has been developed, whereby pCO2 is used to update alkalinity and DIC in a model. Preliminary results are encouraging and the method is now being tested in the NEMO ocean model one degree global ocean model coupled to the HadOCC bigeochemical model.

In addition to the above, James is also a member of the MyOcean service desk team. This service desk is responsible for contact with customers requesting MyOcean marine services.

Career background

James began his science career by studying physics at the University of Warwick. At completion of his degree he moved to the University of Leeds to work towards a PhD in geophysics, specifically studying the use of gravity gradiometry in oil prospecting. James completed his PhD in 2006 and in that year his thesis was runner up for the RAS Keith Runcorn prize.

After his PhD James became a post doctoral researcher at the ESSC, located within the University of Reading. There he studied the impacts of physical data assimilation on coupled physical/biogeochemical ocean models.

James joined the marine data assimilation group in the Met Office in May 2009. Since then he has been working on projects involving pCO2 assimilation and data assimilation in shelf seas.

Last updated: 29 April 2013

About James While

James While

James works on data assimilation in marine systems.

Areas of expertise:

  • Shelf seas data assimilation.

  • Biogeochemical data assimilation.

Publications by James