Dr Chris Harris

Chris works on developing and improving climate models with a particular focus on the ocean component.

Current activities

Chris is a senior scientist working on ocean model development for HadGEM3, the latest climate configuration of the Met Office Unified Model This model will ultimately be used to perform long climate integrations to assess how the climate is likely to change on centennial time-scales. It will also be used to examine probable changes on decadal time-scales. A HadGEM3-based model is already being used as part of the GloSea4 seasonal forecasting system which will also provide useful information to help improve the climate configuration. The increased resolution available for HadGEM3 compared to previous climate configurations should help to reduce known biases and provide more regional detail about the impact of climate change.

Much of Chris's recent work has been to develop code allowing the NEMO ocean model to interact scientifically and technically with both the Unified Model atmosphere component and the CICE sea ice model. This has involved tackling a wide variety of technical and scientific challenges to enable the HadGEM3 model to run efficiently on the Met Office's latest IBM supercomputer. He also provides advice and support to others using HadGEM3-based models including the academic community in the UK and collaborators in Australia.

Chris is a member of the NEMO system team coordinated by  LOCEAN-IPSL in Paris and works with other members of the NEMO community to improve the way physical processes in the ocean are represented in the numerical model.

Career background

Chris has been a member of the Ocean and Ice Model Development team since starting work at the Met Office Hadley Centre in 2004. Before joining the Met Office, Chris completed a PhD in theoretical particle physics at the Department of Physics in the University of Cambridge, where he also received his undergraduate degrees in Natural Sciences (Physics). His doctorate involved the simulation of the production and detection of miniature black holes at CERN's Large Hadron Collider.

Since joining the Met Office, Chris has worked on a variety of aspects of ocean and coupled climate model assessment and development, initially with the HadGEM1 model and now with HadGEM3. He has studied the simulation of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current in Met Office Hadley Centre models, and worked to improve the numerical implementation of isopyncal diffusion.

Last updated: 4 April 2014

About Chris Harris

Chris Harris

Chris works on climate model development

Areas of expertise

  • Ocean model development
  • Coupling of climate model components
  • Technical skills to build climate models for high performance computers

Publications by Chris Harris