Dr Deborah Hemming

Debbie leads research on the analysis and communication of climate risks.

Areas of expertise

  • Climate risk analysis.

  • Forest response to environmental change — measuring and modelling.

  • Land atmosphere exchange modelling.

Current activities

Debbie manages the Climate Impacts Analysis team which is part of Climate Impacts. The Climate Impacts Analysis team focus on analyses and techniques to improve the understanding and communication of climate risks.

The current focus of Debbie's work is on improving the suite of tools and techniques for making quantitative analyses of climate risks. These will be used within the Climate Impacts Risk Framework (CIRF), which was developed by the Climate Impacts Analysis team, to provide a robust, repeatable methodology for conducting climate risk assessments for a wide range of locations and sectors. As well as developing theoretical aspects of climate risk analyses, Debbie is also working with several customers on the practical application of the CIRF to assess their climate risks.

Debbie is also contributing to a range of other climate impacts research, both within the Met Office and in collaboration with international partners. This includes work for the EU project CIRCE — Climate Change and Impacts Research: The Mediterranean Environment, for which she is modelling water resources and integrating climate impacts into advice on regional adaptation strategies in the Mediterranean region.

Career background

Debbie completed an MSc in Applied Meteorology and Climatology in Birmingham University and a PhD entitled 'Stable isotopes in tree rings — biosensors of climate and environmental change' at Cambridge University. She then completed two post-doctoral research projects, one at the University of Arizona, USA, and the other in Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, studying the responses of forest ecosystems to environmental stresses. From these she gained experience conducting field, laboratory and modelling studies, having published over 25 peer reviewed papers, and coordinated a Europe-wide study to understand the response of European forests to climate variations.

In 2004, Debbie joined the Met Office Hadley Centre's Climate Impacts group. As part of this group, she has led a wide range of climate impacts research projects, including a key UK Ministry of Defence project entitled 'Defence and Security Implications of Climate Change'. She was also a contributing author to the IPCC Forth Assessment Synthesis Report.

In 2009, Debbie spent six months on secondment from her current job working in the Climate, Energy and Ozone Science and Analysis team of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), where she developed a practical understanding of the requirement on science for climate policy.

Since 2009, Debbie has been Manager of the Climate Impact Analysis team which is part of Climate Impacts.

Last updated: 4 April 2014