Dr Stephanie Woodward

Areas of expertise

  • Modelling mineral dust production;

  • The atmospheric lifecycle of dust aerosol;

  • Direct radiative effects of dust on climate;   

  • Dust - ecosystem - climate interactions.

Current activities

Stephanie's research work involves the development of the mineral dust scheme within the Met Office Unified Model, particularly within the framework of the UK Earth System Model, and the use of the scheme to study dust and its interactions with the atmosphere and the wider earth system.
Stephanie developed the current 6-bin dust scheme in the Unified Model.  This has been validated against observations of dust concentrations and aerosol optical depths, as well as deposition rates. The central part of the scheme is the modelling of dust emissions, but it also includes the transport and deposition of dust, as well as its radiative properties. The scheme was developed for use in the Met Office Hadley Centre's climate models, but variants of it are also employed in high resolution numerical weather prediction models.
As it is part of the Met Office's strategy to move to using the UKCA code to model all chemical and aerosol species in the atmosphere, Stephanie is now working on the implementation and assessment of the mineral dust component of this scheme in the Unified Model.  Dust emissions will continue to be provided by the existing scheme. 
The dust scheme has been used within the HadGEM models to investigate interactions and feedbacks between dust, climate and ecosystems. These include such processes as the fertilisation of ocean biota by dust, affecting dimethylsulphide emissions, sulphate aerosol concentrations and hence climate, and the effect of changing climate on vegetation and thus on dust emission areas. Direct dust-climate interactions, through the radiative effect of dust on the atmosphere and surface and the potential feedback of this onto dust emissions are also being studied.

Career background

On joining the Met Office Hadley Centre Stephanie initially worked on climate variability. She also spent some time developing the representation of non-CO2 greenhouse gases in the Met Office Unified Model before moving to work on dust aerosol.
Stephanie's first degree was in Physics from Nottingham University. Her PhD in Nuclear Physics from Imperial College, London was gained whilst working as a CASE student at UKAEA Harwell. She has also worked in computing, as a consultant Unix support analyst for Tessella and on the development of a Forth synchrotron control system for Oxford Instruments.

Email:  stephanie.woodward@metoffice.gov.uk