Dr Ben Johnson

Ben analyses aerosol measurements and improves aerosol models in climate research and numerical weather prediction.

Current activities

Ben is a senior scientist who uses observations from the  FAAM research aircraft to understand the impact of aerosols on atmospheric radiation. These measurements are interpreted using radiative transfer models and direct measurements of atmospheric radiation from the FAAM aircraft. Ben also uses observations from satellites and remote sensing networks such as AERONET to quantify aerosols and their variability at larger space-time scales.

Much of Ben's recent work has involved the study of mineral dust and biomass-burning aerosol. These follow a number of major field experiments over North Africa involving the  FAAM aircraft, including DABEX and GERBILS. Ben has fostered links with aerosol measurement and modelling groups at universities in the UK ( University of Reading Department of Meteorology, University of Manchester Centre for Atmospheric Science and Leeds University School of Earth and Environment) together with the wider international research community.

Ben also has a strong interest in developing the representation of aerosols in Met Office models. Ben works with colleagues from the Earth System Science and Numerical Modeling groups to validate global and regional simulations of aerosol fields. Recently Ben has had a large input into the development of dust modelling capabilities within the Met Office. Through this he has gained hands-on experience of using the Unified Model and has tested changes to the numerical representation of dust.

Career background

Ben has been working in Observation based research since he joined the Met Office in 2006. Before that he spent two years at  NCAR in Boulder, Colorado. During this postdoctoral period Ben worked on the parametrization of large-scale cloud properties in the NCAR Community Earth System Model (CESM).

Prior to his research appointments at  NCAR and the Met Office Ben completed a PhD at the University of Reading. His thesis investigated the interaction of black carbon aerosol on boundary-layer clouds. During this time Ben gained experience in radiative transfer modelling and the use of the Large Eddy Model. Ben has always had a deep interest in weather and climate and has a 1st class degree in Meteorology and Physics from the University of Reading.

Last updated: 29 July 2014

About Ben Johnson

Dr Ben Johnson

Ben uses aerosol observations to develop parametrizations in climate and NWP models.

Areas of expertise:

  • Analysis of aerosol observations.

  • Radiative transfer modelling.

  • Parametrization of aerosols and clouds.

  • Aerosol-cloud interactions.

Publications by Ben