An external view of the Met Office building at night.

Dr Chris Atkinson

Areas of expertise

  • Marine observations dataset development;
  • The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation.

My Publications

Current activities

Chris is an ocean observations research scientist whose work involves developing observational marine datasets. He is currently working on an integrated surface/subsurface database of ocean temperature and salinity observations as part of a 3-year European Union funded project called ERA-CLIM. High quality marine datasets are essential for climate research, both as a record of past and present climate variability, and in constraining models of Earth's climate.

Career background

Chris graduated with a degree in Earth Science from Oxford University in 2004. He then went on to study an MSc in Oceanography at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton which he completed in 2006.

In 2011 Chris completed a PhD at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton investigating variability of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation at 26°N as part of the RAPID-WATCH programme. In the North Atlantic, the northward flow of warm upper ocean waters, and the colder southward flow of deep ocean waters, is known as the Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC). Heat transported by the MOC is given off to the atmosphere, helping maintain northwestern Europe's mild climate. Models suggest the MOC is likely to weaken in the future as a consequence of greenhouse gas emissions.

Chris joined the Climate Monitoring and Attribution team in the Met Office Hadley Centre in 2011.