An external view of the Met Office building at night.

Dr Chris Harris

Areas of expertise

  • Coupled ocean-atmosphere model development
  • Operational ocean and weather forecasting
  • Technical development of complex forecasting systems on High Performance Computers

My Publications

Current activities

Chris is the scientific manager of the Coupled Data Assimilation (CDA) team who are working to develop a new global weather forecast system including an interactive ocean component, and to make best use of land surface and ocean observations in coupled forecast systems.

As the leader of the Global Coupled element of the Copernicus Marine Service he is responsible for the routine provision of operational global ocean forecasts from a relatively low resolution ‘weakly coupled’ data assimilation system, and for ensuring that the new higher resolution coupled numerical weather prediction system being developed in his team is capable of replacing these, as well as providing improved weather forecasts.

In addition to steering the scientific direction of the team, Chris is working to develop technical aspects of the new coupled forecast system and to assess its performance. He is also involved in testing and reviewing many other changes related to both the coupled atmosphere-ocean systems, and land surface data assimilation within operational forecast systems.

Externally, Chris is co-chair of the Coupled Prediction ‘Task Team’ of OceanPredict (formally GODAE OceanView).

Career background

Chris has been involved in coupled model development since starting work at the Met Office in 2004. Since then, he has worked on a variety of aspects of ocean and coupled climate model development and assessment, initially with the HadGEM1 model and subsequently as a member of the core development team for HadGEM3. He studied the simulation of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current in Met Office climate models, and worked to improve the numerical implementation of isopycnal diffusion in the NEMO ocean model. In 2013 he moved into the Ocean Forecasting area to manage the operational implementation of a global ocean-atmosphere system to deliver products to MyOcean2 and subsequently the Copernicus Marine Service. He took up his current post in the newly created Coupled Data Assimilation team in 2018.

Prior to joining the Met Office, Chris completed a PhD in theoretical particle physics at the Department of Physics in the University of Cambridge, where he had also received his undergraduate degrees in Natural Sciences (Physics). His doctorate involved simulating the production and detection of miniature black holes at CERN's Large Hadron Collider.