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Dr John Hemmings

John is a software engineer working on developments to the Met Office Unified Model for regional air quality forecasting.

Areas of expertise

John's area of expertise include:

  • Software development
  • Environmental modelling
  • Data assimilation in biogeochemical modelling
  • Ocean data analysis

Publications by John Hemmings

Current activities

John is carrying out development work on the AQUM configuration of the Unified Model model to improve its capability in forecasting UK air quality. A key component of this work is the implementation in the regional modelling suite of a new aerosol scheme which is able to better represent aerosol composition. The potential of this scheme, referred to as GLOMAP-mode, has previously been established in global experiments with the UKCA model that is used within AQUM to simulate atmospheric chemistry and aerosol dynamics.

Career background

Prior to joining the Met Office's Atmospheric Dispersion and Air Quality group in 2015, John worked as a research fellow in biogeochemical modelling at the National Oceanography Centre, where he specialized in the application of data assimilation and uncertainty quantification techniques to marine biogeochemistry models.  

With a BSc in Computer Science and Cybernetics, John started his career in the software industry, working as a developer in the transport and defence sectors. He then joined a biogeochemical modelling team at the Institute of Oceanographic Sciences in 1990, where he worked as a data analyst. During this time he carried out research on the role of bio-physical interactions in determining spatial variability in the spring phytoplankton bloom, leading to a PhD in Oceanography in 1999.

John's post-doctoral research at the National Oceanography Centre, focused primarily on investigating ways of using satellite data to improve marine ecosystem models and their state estimates. A particular goal was to improve the representation of the carbon cycle in ocean and Earth system models with a view to better understanding its role in global change. Data assimilation research included collaborative work with the Met Office to develop an assimilation scheme for improving model estimates of air-sea carbon dioxide flux and subsequent work with the National Centre for Earth Observation to develop new methods and software for calibrating biogeochemistry models in the presence of uncertainty in their environmental drivers.

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