An external view of the Met Office building at night.

Prof Colin Jones

Areas of expertise

  • Leading the development of climate models

Current activities

Colin heads the joint Met Office/NERC UKESM project. He is a Professor in the School of Earth and Environment and an NCAS core scientist. In his role as head of the UKESM project he is based at the Met Office in Exeter where the bulk of the UKESM core group are located. His primary role is to lead development of the next generation of UK Earth system models, with the 1st version of UKESM targeted for application within the WCRP 6th Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6).

Colin coordinates the EU FP7 project EMBRACE (Earth system Model Bias Reduction and assessing Abrupt Climate changE) which addresses improvement in systematic biases in 5 European Earth system models. He also coordinates the recently-funded EU Horizon 2020 project CRESCENDO (Coordinated Research in Earth Systems and Climate: Experiments, kNowledge, Dissemination and Outreach). CRESCENDO brings together 24 Earth system modelling institutes from across Europe, including the 7 leading European ESMs, with the primary aims of; 

  • Improving the representation of key biogeochemical and aerosol processes in ESMs,

  • Developing an ESM evaluation system and evaluating ESMs at the process level

  • Developing a new set of socio-economic scenarios for CMIP6 and applying the project ESMs to these scenarios.

  • Ensuring simulation data and project-knowledge is disseminated to policymakers and the public.

  • CRESCENDO will begin in the Autumn of 2015 and run for 5 years.

Career background

Colin became head of UKESM in the summer of 2013. Before that he was head of the Rossby Centre for Climate Research at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI), where he led development and application of both Global and Regional Climate Models. From 2004 to 2008 he was Director of the Canadian Regional Climate Modelling and Diagnostics (CRCMD) Network and Professor in the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences department at the University of Quebec, Montreal. During the period 1998 to 2004 he was a senior scientist in the Rossby Centre, SMHI, responsible for development on the atmospheric component of the Rossby Centre's coupled Regional Climate Model (RCAO). He was also area leader for model parameterizations in the international HIRLAM NWP consortium. Prior to this he was a senior scientist in the Centre for Global Atmospheric Modeling (CGAM) at the University of Reading. He has a PhD in Tropical Cyclone modelling from the University of East Anglia and a BSc in Geophysical Sciences. He was a NOAA Postdoctoral Fellow in Climate change based at Colorado State University. 

External recognition

Colin is former co-chair of the WCRP project CORDEX and chair of the CORDEX Science Advisory Team. He has been a member of the WCRP Working Group of Coupled Modelling (WGCM) and an invited expert of the WCRP Working Group on Numerical Modelling (WGNE). He is an ex-officio member of the WCRP Working Group on Regional Climate. He is a member of the NERC High Performance Computing Steering Committee and is a past member of the ENES Task Force on High Performance Computing and part of the PRACE working group on Weather, Climate and Earth Sciences.