James works on the parametrization of radiative transfer in the atmosphere.
Areas of expertise:
Atmospheric radiative transfer.
Surface radiation modelling.
James is a senior scientist working on radiation parametrization for the Unified Model. This involves the development of fast and accurate ways to represent the radiative processes that occur in the atmosphere and at the Earth's surface.
One current area of research involves the effects of resolved topography on the radiative transfer in local area forecast models, such as the UKV. At resolutions of 1.5 km the shape of the terrain can influence the radiation received at the surface and needs to be properly modelled to allow accurate prediction of surface temperatures.
Other areas of research involve the interaction of radiation with clouds. In particular, the structure or inhomogeneity of the clouds is important for their overall radiative properties. Methods are being developed to represent the interaction of radiation with clouds at higher temporal and spatial resolutions to more accurately predict their effects, and allow for the correct feedbacks on weather and climate.
James is also involved with improvements to the treatment of gaseous absorption. This is currently being done in collaboration with Zhian Sun at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.
James has been working on radiation parametrization as a member of Atmospheric Processes and Parametrization since joining the Met Office in 2004. Before this, James worked as an astronomer on X-ray and infra-red surveys of active galaxies, firstly with a PhD from the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh and then as a post-doc in Padova, Italy.