Scott Osprey

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Scott Osprey

NCAS Scientist

I am a research scientist based within the Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics sub-department of the Department of Physics, University of Oxford. I am also directly affiliated with the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS), which is a NERC research centre for atmospheric science, with major programmes in climate, weather, atmospheric chemistry, observations and atmospheric technology.

I have been a departmental tutor for the fourth year option, C5: Physics of Atmospheres and Oceans as well as a course tutor for the third year course B1: Fluids, Chaos and Complexity at Wadham College. Previously, I have tutored B3: Fluid Dynamics, at Wadham College.

My research interests include climate variability, predictability and prediction and the application of concepts from Dynamical Systems Theory to climate variability (e.g. diagnosing coupling and synchronisation within the climate system). More specifically, I study stratospheric variability and its associations with tropospheric weather and climate. My principal research tools include global climate models, notably the Met Office MetUM, and have also built and used statistical and adjoint models. I am also interested in gaining useful process information from low-dimensional models, such as Lorenz-63. My other interest includes the application of cosmic-muon radiation for atmospheric remote sensing. This work has been in collaboration with large international groups studying fundamental physics.

An interdisciplinary study between the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) and an international group studying fundamental physics, MINOS, culminated in a press release between NCAS and the Science and Technology Facilities Research Council (STFC) following a joint publication. This work has shown that cosmic muon radiation monitored underground can be used to reconstruct upper-air temperatures. In particular, the signature of sudden stratospheric warmings has been seen in an experiment located 700m underground. This raises the prospect of establishing a longer record of stratospheric variability, which will be relevant for validating long-term climate reconstructions, such as from the ECMWF.

AGU Science Highlight - Underground subatomic-particle measurements yield meteorological clues (25/03/09)
AGU Editors' Highlight - Sudden stratospheric warming events seen with cosmic ray muon data (07/03/09)
CERN Courier - MINOS maps the deepest secrets of the upper atmosphere (23/02/09)
New Scientist magazine online - Underground particle detector used to track weather (22/01/09)
Science magazine: J Grom, Cosmic Insight (from Random Samples), SCIENCE 323:565 (30 Jan 2009). Reprinted with permission from AAAS.
Physics World magazine online - Muons Reveal Upper Atmosphere's Temperature (23/01/09)
Planet Earth online magazine - Cosmic ray detector reveals sudden atmospheric warming (23/01/09)
Discovery News Channel (USA) - Underground Particles Forecast Winter Storms (30/01/09)
Symmetry Magazine: Glennda Chui and Tona Kunz, volume 6(1), March 2009, Cosmic weather gauges
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society: April 2009, Cosmic Rays Connected to Stratospheric Weather
NERC ANNUAL Report: 2008-2009, Cosmic rays could help forecast major weather events
University of Oxford Science blog - Cosmic Rays in Minos' Labyrinth (22/01/09)
Cordis News (European R&D news from Brussels) - Scientists discover underground cosmic rays can detect major weather events (22/01/09)
Environmental Research Web - Research Highlights (Institute of Physics) - Muons reveal upper atmosphere's temperature (26/01/09)
United Press International (USA) - Cosmic Rays Reflect Stratospheric Weather (27/01/09)
Science Daily (USA) - Cosmic Rays Detected Deep Underground Reveal Secrets Of Upper Atmosphere (21/01/09)
Newspost online (India) - Cosmic rays detected deep underground may reveal upper atmosphere’s secrets (22/01/09)
The Register online (UK) - Boffins monitor strato-weather from half-mile underground (22/01/09)
The International Space Fellowship (UK) - Cosmic rays detected deep underground reveal secrets of the upper atmosphere (22/01/09)
The Space Daily online - Cosmic rays reveal upper atmosphere's secrets (23/01/09)
Times of the Internet (USA) - Cosmic Rays Reflect Stratospheric Weather (27/01/09)
Inforum website (USA) - Stratospheric warming may mean mid-February cold snap (26/01/09)
Softpedia website (Romania)- Upper Atmosphere Monitored by Underground Particle Detector (22/01/09)
Discover Magazine online (USA) - How to forecast the weather from a half-mile underground: watch for muons (22/01/09)
Eurekalert! website(USA) - Cosmic rays detected deep underground reveal secrets of the upper atmosphere (21/01/09)