Hannah Christensen

Research Interests

Processes occur in the atmosphere on a wide range of spatio-temporal scales, from cloud processes on the micrometre scale, through convective aggregation on the hundreds of kilometre scale, up to global scale emergent phenomena such as the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Yet we require our weather and climate models to capture all of these processes to make accurate predictions – a formidable challenge! To improve predictions we need a deeper understanding of the underlying physics together with an accurate characterisation of uncertainties associated with the modelling process. Any projects under this overarching theme would be developed in discussion with the student, but could involve investigation into sources of atmospheric predictability such as the El Nino-Southern Oscillation; the use of extremely high-resolution simulations to understand small-scale atmospheric processes; or atmospheric model development, with the potential for developments to be incorporated into world leading weather and climate models. The student would use a range of techniques, from modelling simple chaotic systems to global climate simulations, with the aim of understanding the behaviour of the atmosphere, and improving our ability to predict this behaviour. 

Professional Qualifications and Experience

Hannah has tutored a range of courses for undergraduate Physicists and Mathematicians at the University of Oxford, she has taught Masters level classes in ‘Physics of the Atmosphere and Ocean’, and she has lectured for the DTP on ‘Chaos and Uncertainty in Forecasts’. She supervises or co-supervises Oxford research students, including students studying for taught MPhys and MMath degrees.

Personal Research Keywords

weather forecasting, climate modelling, uncertainty, stochastic processes, predictability and chaos, computer models