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New Priestley Chair takes a planetary perspective

Centre news

Professor Dan Marsh joins the Priestley International Centre for Climate as the Chair in Comparative Planetary Atmospheres, which he will hold jointly in the School of Physics and Astronomy and the School of Chemistry at the University of Leeds.

Dan Marsh will divide his time between Leeds and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, where he will continue to work as a senior scientist and head of the Global Chemistry Modeling Group. At NCAR, he works primarily with large computer models and led the development of the NCAR Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM), a chemistry climate model that extends from the surface into the thermosphere/ionosphere. WACCM has been used extensively to look at climate change and is one of the models used for IPCC Coupled Model Intercomparison Project.

His research interests are in whole atmosphere modeling, climate change, upper atmosphere composition and space weather. He conducts basic research on the chemistry and dynamics of the stratosphere and mesosphere, their response to climate change and their influence on tropospheric climate.

A long-time collaborator with researchers at the University of Leeds, Dan Marsh has been working with them to develop new atmospheric chemistry models, investigating such phenomena as the evolution of the stratospheric ozone hole or the fate of meteors as they ablate in the upper atmosphere. As Chair of Comparative Planetary Atmospheres, he plans to develop new global models of the chemistry of other planets.

“The Priestley Centre’s focus on interdisciplinary research opens up new opportunities for me to explore the societal and economic impacts of the changes in climate and weather predicted by our chemistry climate models,” Prof Marsh said.

“I am really looking forward to working with members of the schools of Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy to adapt models such as WACCM to Mars, Titan and exoplanets. Titan is particularly interesting since it resembles the chemistry of early Earth.”