An external view of the Met Office building at night.

Dr Laura Jackson

Areas of expertise

  • Thermohaline circulation/ Meridional Overturning Circulation
  • Dense overflows in the ocean
  • Shear-driven mixing in the ocean

Current activities

Laura's work involves understanding global ocean circulation and in particular the MOC and its impacts on climate. Recent work has included studies to understand the natural variability of the MOC in global climate models and how this can inform our understand of observed behaviour.

She is also interested in projections of the MOC under future climate change and the risk of rapid and/or irreversible change in the future. She collaborated with the RAPID-WATCH project to conduct a risk assessment of rapid or irreversible changes in the MOC and is currently assessing the possible impacts of a collapse of the MOC using the Met Office Hadley Centre's most recent global climate model (Met Office climate prediction model: HadGEM3 family).

Career background

Before joining the Met Office in 2008, Laura was a postdoctoral researcher at GFDL and Princeton University in America. There she worked on a project researching entrainment by gravity currents in the ocean, and how to improve representation of this process in climate models. A new parameterization for shear-driven ocean mixing in a climate model was developed and is being used in a GFDL climate model.

Laura has a PhD in Ocean Modelling from Liverpool University where she investigated the effects of topography on the ocean circulation. Prior to that she did an undergraduate degree in Mathematics at Cambridge University and a MSc in Industrial and Environmental Modelling at Bristol University mathematics department.