Since 2014 Dr. Joanna Haigh has been the co-director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College where for the previous five years she had been the Head of the Department of Physics.
Studying physics at the University of Oxford she earned a BA degree which was promoted to a MA. From the Imperial College London she earned a Master of Science degree in Meteorology, and then returned to Oxford where she was awarded a doctor of philosophy in Atmospheric Physics in 1980.
Since that time her research has focused on radiative transfer, stratosphere-troposphere coupling, solar variability, and climate modeling. Widely published on these topics in the scientific literature she has also been invited to communicate her findings in popular media. She has sat on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an international body for assessing the science related to climate change. This group provides rigorous and balanced scientific information to governmental decision makers to help them develop climate related policies.
Part of her work is helping to distinguish the warming effects of greenhouse gases from the effects of natural variations of solar energy. According to the Royal Society by integrating ideas from physics to produce computationally fast and accurate models, Haigh has transformed the ability to predict behavior of the atmosphere and climate. The methods she had developed incorporate the finest details of climate processes and solar influence and are being used by researchers worldwide.
Not only is she a Fellow of the Royal Society but also of the Institute of Physics, the City & Guilds and the Royal Meteorological Society and an Honorary Fellow of Somerville College Oxford. The recipient of the Institute of Physics Charles Chree Medal and Prize in 2004 she was also honored with the Royal Meteorological Society Adrian Gill Prize in 2010 for her work on solar variability and its effects on climate. Appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her service to physics she continues to research and speak on Earth’s climate system and in 2015 co-authored the book The Sun’s Influence on Climate.
Written by Angela Goad