Chris works part time on seasonal forecasting, seasonal to multidecadal climate variability, and as an advisor to the Met Office Hadley Centre.
Chris carries out research on observed and modelled climate variability and into practical seasonal to annual long-range forecasting and predictability. He also contributes to the regular experimental seasonal long-range forecasts. He has a number of international collaborations involving many countries worldwide, particularly USA, Australia, China and Sweden.
Chris's current work is focused on the predictability of winter seasonal climate over Europe, understanding links between European summer climate and its predictability and the West African Monsoon, and the predictability and operational prediction of average global temperature a year ahead. Chris uses results from the HadGEM family of models to guide research on winter predictability, and a range of observed data sets. Research on summer climate is currently focused on sources of predictability including links to the West African monsoon using models and observations. The global temperature research uses several observed global temperature data sets, a variety of other types of observed data, and El Niño forecasts from the GloSea4 seasonal forecast systems.
Chris also provides more general advice to the Heads of Monthly to Decadal Prediction and Climate Monitoring and Attribution. In addition, he collaborates, as co-chair, with the Director of the Centre for Ocean Land Atmosphere Studies, Maryland, USA, on the WCRP-CLIVAR C20C project. This international modelling project is concerned with simulating and studying the mechanisms and predictability of observed climate variability and aspects of climate change.
After obtaining a BSc(Hons) in Physics at Reading University in 1966, Chris joined the then National Institute of Oceanography working on deep ocean currents, including two spells at sea. Joining the Met Office in 1968, after training he went to the Operational Instrumentation Branch in 1969. He became the manager of its Sensor Development group in 1970 developing surface instruments including the earliest usable humidity measurements on ocean buoys.
Chris joined the Synoptic Climatology Branch in 1974, working on climate change and operational monthly forecasting. Promoted in 1976, he became a manager in the Agriculture and Hydrometeorology branch of hydrometeorological research and related commercial activities. Most important was serving as Met Office representative 1976-1980 on the National Working Group on the Hydraulic Design of Storm Sewers, involving interactions with leading civil engineers. He rejoined the Synoptic Climatology Branch in 1980, managing the development of UK monthly long-range forecasts, the global sea surface and night marine air temperature data sets, and some work on climate change. He introduced tropical seasonal forecasting into the Met Office in 1986.
After an exchange visit to the Climate Analysis Centre in Washington DC, USA in 1988-1989, he joined the Met Office Hadley Centre in 1990 as an Individual Merit scientist (Met Office Fellow) and Head of Climate Variability, later Climate Variability and Forecasting. His main activities, many collaborative, were in climate change and variability, data set development and applied climate modelling. He served four times as a Lead Author for the IPCC.
Throughout his career, Chris has been involved in a wide range of WMO activities. He retired in April 2008 to take his current position the following June.
Last updated: 3 March 2014