Department / group: School of Geosciences, Global Change / Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate of the Anthropocene

Research interests:

At the heart of my research is the quantitative analysis of models and observations of climate change in order to constrain the future. The approach I am currently working on is to to generate “plausible” climate models through careful comparison of simulations and observations and use the properties of these plausible models to reason about future climate change. I am interested in extreme climate events and their causes for which I believe that high resolution modelling is the way forward. I also aim to improve my knowledge and understanding of the carbon cycle and try and develop ways of constraining its possible futures.

Career history:

I am the Chair of Earth System dynamics and modelling at the University of Edinburgh where I also, in 1992, received my PhD. I previously worked at the Hadley Centre as a research scientist where I, with others, showed that human emissions of carbon dioxide were likely to be responsible for 20th century warming. After this I managed a team of scientists who created datasets of historical climate change from the atmosphere, sea and land surface and the sub-surface ocean with comprehensive uncertainty estimates. I also carried out and analysed simulations of the climate of the last 500 years. I have published more than 75 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, won the Norber-Gerbier WMO prize twice (1997, 1998), a NOAA prize for best scientific paper (1998), the L G Groves prize for Meteorology (2006) and gave the Margary lecture to the Royal Meteorological Society in 2007. I contributed to the last three IPCC assessments, provided scientific advice to the UK government, was a member of NERC’s peer review college and am a National Centre for Atmospheric Science Principal Investigator. I am also a Chartered Meteorologist and a member of NERC’s Strategic Programme Advisory Group.

Active research projects:

ICE-IMPACT: International Consortium for the Exploitation of Infared Measurements of PolAr ClimaTe

Tett, S.

1/02/16 – 31/03/16


Attribution of climate change over China (WP1.1) – Long Term Undulations versus secular change in Chinese Climate (LOTUS-China)

Tett, S.

1/07/15 – 30/04/16

UK central government bodies/local authorities, health and hospital authorities

Attribution analysis of long term trends in China – CSSP (WP1.5)

Tett, S., Bollasina, M. & Hegerl, G.

1/10/14 – 31/07/16

UK central government bodies/local authorities, health and hospital authorities

Global climate dynamics: Teleconnections WP2.2.

Bollasina, M., Hegerl, G. & Tett, S.

1/10/14 – 31/07/16

UK central government bodies/local authorities, health and hospital authorities

Edinburgh Fluid Dynamics Group

Viola, I. M., Reese, J., Hoskins, P., Vanneste, J., Leimkuhler, B., Berera, A., Morozov, A., Haszeldine, S., Tett, S. & Bethune, I.

30/06/14 – 30/06/15

Using Optimisation Algorithms to tune Climate Models (OptClim)

Tett, S.

1/04/14 – 15/01/16


Recent publications:

Turner, E.C., Lee, H.T. and Tett, S.F., 2015. Using IASI to simulate the total spectrum of outgoing long-wave radiances. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 15(12), pp.6561-6575.

Krueger, O., Hegerl, G.C. and Tett, S.F., 2015. Evaluation of mechanisms of hot and cold days in climate models over Central Europe. Environmental Research Letters, 10(1), p.014002.

Harding, A.E., Rivington, M., Mineter, M.J. and Tett, S.F.B., 2015. Agro-meteorological indices and climate model uncertainty over the UK. Climatic Change, 128(1-2), pp.113-126.

Scott, V., Haszeldine, R.S., Tett, S.F. and Oschlies, A., 2015. Fossil fuels in a trillion tonne world. Nature Climate Change, 5(5), pp.419-423.

Slevin, D., Tett, S.F.B. and Williams, M., 2015. Multi-site evaluation of the JULES land surface model using global and local data. Geoscientific Model Development, 8(2), pp.295-316.