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Dr Ben Shipway

Ben is interested in convection and cloud microphysics

Ben works on atmospheric convection, with a particular interest in microphysics.

Current Activities

Ben is a senior scientist working on convection. Ben makes use of the Met Office Large Eddy Model code as a Cloud Resolving Model (CRM) to study the physical processes associated with convective clouds. From these high resolution studies, parametric representations of the subgrid convective transports can be derived and implemented in the Unified Model, which is then used for both climate and weather forecasts on a coarser grid.

The current focus of Ben's work into convective parametrization is to use similarity theory, frequently used in boundary layer meteorology, to consider convective regimes as turbulent flows, with the turbulent fluxes of heat and moisture controlled by non-dimensional parameters related to the resolved scale conditions. Although interested in all convective regimes, the role of congestus and warm rain convective clouds has been the main area of investigation in recent years.

In order to have confidence in the parametrizations, it is vital that both these and the CRM results from which they are derived are robust and reliable. To this end Ben has been involved in a number of GASS activities, which aim to verify the various codes using case studies to compare both with observations and with numerous other models developed independently by centres around the world. Ben has written a code to test multiple microphysics schemes in a 1 dimensional framework and this has been made available to the wider community to aid with testing and development of new and existing microphysics parametrizations. Ben is taking a lead in using this framework for a new GASS intercomparison case.

Career background

Ben has been a member of Atmospheric Processes and Parametrizations since starting at the Met Office in 2003. Prior to joining the Met Office, Ben completed a PhD in linear wave theory at the Department of Mathematics in the University of Bristol, where he also received his undergraduate degree.

Since joining the Met Office, Ben has focussed on the development of convective parametrizations, using the LEM as his primary tool. However, along the way, Ben has developed interests in a range of related areas, including the use of bulk and bin microphysics and cloud-aerosol interactions.

As code owner of the Met Office Large Eddy Model (a responsibility now passed on to Dr Adrian Hill), Ben was keen to maintain its status as a state-of-the-art code and to continue to make it a focus of collaboration with the academic and international community. This has led to continuing work with UK universities and the GASS and WMO cloud modelling groups.

Last updated: Oct 15, 2015 1:27 PM