Professor Tim Palmer

Royal Society Research Professor in Climate Physics

Oxford Martin Senior Alumni Fellow

Professor Palmer was Co-Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Modelling and Predicting Climate.

Tim's DPhil was in general relativity theory (from Oxford in the mid 1970s) after which Ihe moved into the field of weather and climate dynamics and prediction, first at the UK Meteorological Office and then at the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts. In 2010 he returned to Oxford as a “2010 Anniversary” Royal Society Research Professor, one of the positions created to commemorate the Royal Society’s 350th Anniversary. He has been a visiting scientist at the University of Washington and was a Rothschild Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Isaac Newton Institute at the University of Cambridge.

His research spans a wide variety of areas, from the theoretical to the practical, in issues related to the predictability and dynamics of weather and climate. On the theoretical side, he is especially interested in aspects of the climate system which exhibit nonlinear behaviour, for example where climatic processes on different space and time scales interact. On the practical side, he has developed probabilistic weather and climate ensemble forecast systems, and worked on the application of weather and climate forecasts e.g. for malaria prediction, flood forecasting, and crop yield estimation. Most recently his research has focused on the use of energy-efficient hybrid stochastic/deterministic computer hardware to simulate climate at extremely high resolution.

He has been involved in all five IPCC assessment reports, have coordinated two European Union climate projects, and was co-chair of the international scientific steering group of the World Climate Research Programme project (CLIVAR) on climate variability and predictability. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2003, and served on the Royal Society Council in 2008-9. In 2011-12 he was President of the Royal Meteorological Society. In 2013 he was elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.