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Dr Jonathan Tinker

Jonathan studies the climate of the North West European shelf seas in terms of sea level rise, temperature, salinity and circulation, over a range of timescales.

Current activities

Jonathan studies the physical climate of the North West European shelf seas (NWS). This region includes the UK waters, the North Sea, Celtic Sea, Irish Sea and the English Channel. He is interested in a range of time-scales, from recent past, present-day variability, the seasonal timescale, and the end of the century.

He has developed 21st century projection of the NWS, based on an ensemble of transient simulations. This work updated the UKCP09 shelf seas projections, and the data is available to download. These projections have been used in a number of climate impact studies, including investigations into the implication of climate change on commercial fish species, harmful algal blooms and invasive species.

He is involved in the UK Climate Projections. The UKCP09 Marine Report was in the final stage of production when he started at the Met Office Hadley Centre, and he did some of the final calculations of relative sea level. For UKCP18, he is quantifying present-day sea-level variability around the UK. He has downscaled a present-day control simulation of the Hadley Centre climate model HadGEM3 GC3.0, with the shelf seas model Nemo CO6. A present-day control simulation (keeping the CO2 concentrations constant at the year 2000 level) allows the unforced, year-to-year variability to be investigated – this is in important for coastal managers and policy makers, as it will dominate the climate signal in the coming years, and remain an important part of sea-level variability out to 2100.

Jonathan has coordinated the NWS contribution to the first three Copernicus Ocean State Reports (OSR). The OSR is a large collaborative report involving 80 scientists from 25 institutes across Europe, to compare the global and regional ocean state from the previous year to the recent past. These reports divide world into 6 regions, and report on a wide range of ocean monitoring indicators.

Recently, Jonathan has been investigating the seasonal predictability on the NWS. The Met Office global seasonal forecasting system (GloSea5) provides significant skill at forecasting northern Europe dominant mode of climate variability (North Atlantic Oscillation). This may provide the basis of skilful shelf seas forecasts.

He has also been the Met Office representative on the steering committee of the Marine Climate Change Impact Partnership (MCCIP) since 2009. MCCIP communicates climate impact science from the scientist to government and marine users, through regular “Report Cards”. This has been an excellent forum for scientific dissemination, and has led to a number of successful collaborations, including two PhD students with Exeter University.

Career background

After a BSc in Marine Biology with Oceanography at Southampton, Jonathan received a distinction for his MSc in Applied Physical Oceanography at the University of Wales, Bangor, before doing a PhD at the University of Plymouth where he measured and modelled cross-shore sediment transport and profile evolution on natural beaches.

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