iLeaps Conference

iLeaps (Integrated Land Ecosystem-Atmosphere Process Study) have a conference every four years, so it’s an opportunity not to be missed.

I gave a talk on Climate Engineering with Nitrogen fertilisation, which has generated a good bit of discussion. I also caught up with a lot of colleagues from CEH and the Met Office and other places, which has been great.



ICDC10 Conference

In the superlatively beautiful Interlaken in Switzerland, I was lucky enough to attend the tenth International Carbon Dioxide Conference (they only happen every four years).


  • talking about ocean acidification from nitrogen with Helmuth Thomas
  • chatting to people at my poster about the moral ambiguity of climate engineering with nitrogen
  • the conference dinner with Jed Kaplan, talking about pre-historic land use change (the so-call early anthropocene)
  • long discussions with Sonke Zeahle about all things nitrogen

AGU 2016

This year at AGU I was kept busy with chairing a session on Land-use change and giving a talk on biodiversity over the last 300 Ma.

I was the organising convenor for the land-use session, which was very successful, with two oral sessions and over 50 abstracts submitted. There was a who’s-who of LUC, with talks from Julia Pongratz, Dave Lawrence, George Hurtt, amongst others.

My talk was on Biodiversity of Terrestrial Vegetation during Past Warm Periods, showing some work I’ve been doing with a DGVM called JeDi which has enough vegetation types that inferences can be made about changes in biodiversity.

AGU 2015

A last minute decision to go to AGU gave me a rare opportunity to go to this conference without the stress of having to present. So I had a load of fun going to lots of seriously interesting sessions on Nitrogen, land-use, and vegetation dynamics, and also meet up with lots of people. That last one is where most of my favourites and most thought compelling talks and posters were, and that seems to be where I am headed at the moment.


CRESCENDO is the new EU project doing similar climate model improvement work to the EMBRACE project that I’m employed on presently.

This was the kick-off meeting, which though I’m not directly involved, Pierre Freidlingstein invited me to come along as a potential post-doc for the project and get a feel for the group and the work. It looks like an exciting project involving a lot of groups, that has realistic aims and will get a lot done over the next few years.

Workshop on CMIP5 Model Analysis and Scientific Plans for CMIP6

This meeting was a combination of analysis of results from CMIP5 and looking forward to planning CMIP6, spanning all the range of CMIP activities, from sea ice to land use. It had a format I haven’t seen before, with each presenter having both a poster and a one minute ‘advertisement’ talk at the beginning for the two hour-ish session. There was a few terrestrial posters in every session, so there was a nice combination of things that I wanted to go and read, and talk to the presenters, and some other things to go to just for curiosity.

EMBRACE Final General Assembly

This was both my first EMBRACE meeting, and also the last one, as I joined the project just a year before it ended. Despite that, it was familiar names and faces, and I gave a brief talk about the work I did which bridged work-package 3 and work-package 5. It was great to see how my work fitted into the overall aim of improving climate models, and some of the achievements of the project.

Jules meeting 2015

The defining aspect of the Jules meeting is the discussion: sometimes intense and often loud, there is a mix of mercy, generosity and harsh honesty that I feel is motivated by science and practicality rather than ego.

I was kept busy catching up with people as ever, explaining what I’m working on now including a poster with some initial results for the new Jules terrestrial Nitrogen component that will go into version 4.4 and ultimately UKESM1. At the request of the organisers, I also chaired the ‘Soil Processes’ session. A typically lively session there were great talks from Eleanor Burke, Sarah Chadburn, Graham Weedon and Anna Verhoef.

A particular highlight for me was Menard’s talk on Meteorological forcing, ancillary data and evaluation methods as sources of errors and uncertainty in land surface models. She found that incorrect switch choice in the namelists and different driving data were major (read huge) sources of errors in jules. In essence, Jules is a good model, if used correctly, but ‘used correctly’ is dependent on a lot of settings that are not always obvious. This provoked a very interesting but quite heated discussion.