Paul Barrett

Areas of expertise

  • Airborne atmospheric observations
  • Design of international research campaigns
  • Cloud and aerosol microphysics

Paul's Publications

Current activities

Paul is an experienced and skilful observational scientist in the Observations-Based Research (OBR) group who works with national and international collaborators to design and undertake globally significant atmospheric science field work in locations around the world. Whilst at home he is involved in development and exploitation of world-class scientific instrumentation for the benefit of weather and climate prediction. His interests include cloud microphysics, turbulence and convection and aerosol cloud interactions.

He is currently Co-Investigator on Terra Maris, joint with NERC (Natural Environment Research Council), designed to study the interaction between the diurnal cycle of convection and global scale atmospheric waves such as MJO (Madden Julian Oscillation).

Paul recently worked with the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) on the BAS Twin Otter measuring trade-cumulus clouds in the tropical north Atlantic (EUREC4A, EUREC4A-UK), as the aircraft made a stop on its annual migration north to a summer of maintenance in Calgary.

Career Background

Paul has previously worked on the FAAM BAe146 research aircraft in warm boundary layer clouds, including stratocumulus in the south-east Pacific (VOCALS) and more recently studying aerosol-cloud interactions in the south-East Atlantic during CLARIFY (Special Issue).

Much of Paul’s career in OBR has been spent working with instrumentation including aerosol and cloud-microphysics probes and hygrometry along with a large project to install a new inlet to FAAM – the Counterflow Virtual Impactor (CVI). This inlet is designed to select cloud particles, and nothing else, from the ambient atmosphere passing them to instrumentation mounted within the cabin for further study.

He gained his Doctorate in 2017 while investigating altocumulus clouds: which are turbulent mixed-phase clouds, through part-time study at University of Leeds School of Earth and Environment through the Met Office Academic Partnership. This followed time in industry, monitoring airborne asbestos particle concentrations, and a physics degree from University of Sheffield (MPhys, 2002) where he undertook a research masters developing thin-film toxic-gas detectors.

External Recognition

Chair: FAAM Meteorological Instruments Working Group