Dr Steven Abel

Areas of expertise

  • Aircraft scientific instrumentation

  • Analysis of cloud and aerosol observations

  • Cloud-scale numerical modelling

  • Radiative transfer modelling

My Publications

Current activities

Steven makes use of the instrumentation on the UK FAAM aircraft to better understand the complex processes that control the formation and evolution of clouds. He also utilises observations from satellites to quantify cloud variability on larger spatial and temporal scales than that sampled by the research aircraft. He works closely with colleagues from the Numerical Modelling and Atmospheric Processes and Parametrizations groups to both evaluate the performance and to develop improved parametrizations for utilisation in the Met Office Met Office Large Eddy Model and the Unified Model.

Much of his recent work has focused on stratocumulus clouds, both over the UK and as part of the VOCALS-REx field campaign. The prevalence of low level stratocumulus clouds over the global oceans and their radiative effects have long been recognised as a key component of the Earth's climate system. For Numerical Weather Prediction, predicting the extent of stratocumulus cloud sheets over land can be of critical importance in the correct forecasting of surface temperatures and visibility. He is actively engaged in the evaluation of current state of the art models and in the development of new parametrizations to improve the model representation of these cloudy boundary layers.

Career background

Steven has worked in the Cloud Physics group of Observation Based Research since joining the Met Office in 2004. During this time he has been actively involved in a number of large international field measurement campaigns including RICO and VOCALS-REx.

Prior to this he graduated from the University of Birmingham in 2001 with a first class BSc (Hons) degree in Physics with Astrophysics and completed a PhD in 2004 at the University of Reading on The Radiative Properties and Direct Effect of Southern African Biomass Burning Aerosols.