Chemel, Dr Charles

Senior Research Scientist in Atmospheric Boundary-Layer Science


University of Leeds

Fairbairn House

71-75 Clarendon Road



+44(0) 113 343 7246  

A native of France, I am a physicist specialising in atmospheric science. I gained my PhD in 2005 at Joseph Fourier University, France, with a study of the atmospheric boundary layer over complex terrain. On completion of my PhD, I was awarded a fixed-term lectureship at Joseph Fourier University. In 2006 I came to the United Kingdom as a research fellow at the University of Hertfordshire. In 2009 I joined the National Centre of Atmospheric Science (NCAS) as a research scientist, while keeping a research-focused position at the University of Hertfordshire (research fellow, then senior lecturer from 2016 and principal lecturer from 2019). In 2021 I moved to NCAS Headquarters at the University of Leeds as a senior research scientist.


One practical goal of my research is to enhance our predictive capability of environmental hazards and associated impacts. The focus of my research is on surface and atmospheric boundary-layer processes and their interactions with larger-scale weather, which lead under certain conditions to environmental hazards (e.g. air pollution and fog/haze/smog). This fundamental research involves theoretical modelling, analysis of detailed numerical model simulations of physical processes, and directed analyses of observations. This work underpins the development of state-of-the-science atmospheric numerical models, which integrate our understanding of the various processes acting on the atmosphere and allow prediction of the past, present and future state of the atmosphere. By its very nature, my research is often collaborative and multidisciplinary, bringing together areas of (atmospheric) physics, and draws upon expertise both nationally and internationally.


Current research projects include:

  • NERC Long-Term Science Multi-Centre (LTSM) programme on Climate change in the Arctic-North Atlantic Region and Impacts on the UK (CANARI). The aim of CANARI is to advance understanding of the impacts on the United Kingdom arising from climate variability and change in the Arctic-North Atlantic region, with a focus on extreme weather and the potential for rapid, disruptive change. My research in CANARI is focused on cold-air outbreaks.
  • NERC Directed programme on the Uncertainty in Climate Sensitivity due to Clouds (CloudSense), specifically the Deep Convective Microphysics Experiment (DCMEX) project component. The aim of DCMEX is to is to ultimately reduce the uncertainty in equilibrium climate sensitivity by improving the representation of microphysical processes in global models. The focus is on cloud microphysical processes involving ice particles in deep convective clouds, which contribute significantly to cloud feedbacks. The project involves an international field campaign that is focused on measurements of cloud microphysics in cumulonimbus clouds that form above a mountain range in central New Mexico. My research in DCMEX is focused on the influence of the synoptic environment on orographic convection.


Picture of Dr Charles  Chemel