Dr Julie Jones

Lecturer in Climatology

Julie Jones

Room number: E5
Telephone (internal): 27967
Telephone (UK): 0114 222 7967
Telephone (International): +44 114 222 7967
Email: Julie.Jones@Sheffield.ac.uk

Julie studied Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich. She then obtained her PhD from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at UEA in 1998. Following a short postdoc in CRU she moved to a postdoctoral position at the palaeoclimate research group at the GKSS Research Centre in Geesthacht (near Hamburg) in Germany, where in 2005 she became group leader.

Julie took up a lectureship in climatology in the Department of Geography in Sheffield in August 2006.

Research Interests

  • Reconstruction and analysis of Southern Hemisphere Atmospheric Circulation from proxy data, long instrumental records, and climate model simulations
  • The design and analysis of global climate model (GCM) simulations for the mid- and late-Holocene and development of methodologies for systematic comparison of these simulations with proxy data
  • Regional climate modelling with a focus on the European Alps
  • Links between atmospheric circulation and transport of air pollution

Current research

Southern Hemisphere atmospheric circulation

I have been working on reconstructions of the strength of the major mode of extratropical atmospheric circulation in the Southern Hemisphere, the Southern Hemisphere Annular Mode (SAM) (also known as the Antarctic Oscillation) using instrumental pressure measurements for the twentieth century, and tree-ring width chronologies, together with Ryan Fogt (Ohio University) and Martin Widmann (University of Birmingham). The SAM influences numerous aspects of Southern Hemisphere Climate (eg Antarctic sea ice, temperature and precipitation over Southern Hemisphere landmasses, ocean circulation). Particular interest has been paid to the SAM because of strong trends in recent decades, and debate over whether or not these trends are unprecedented.

I am also investigating the representation of Southern Hemisphere Atmospheric Circulation in the Twentieth Century Reanalysis, together with Ryan Fogt.

Together with Jim Renwick and Olaf Morgenstern (National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research, New Zealand) I am investigating the representation of the SAM in coupled chemistry-climate model simulations, work started during a sabbatical visit in 2010 funded by the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Transient GCM simulations of the mid-Holocene climate and comparison with palaeoclimate proxy data.

Together with Sebastian Wagner of the Helmholz Centre Geesthacht and Martin Widmann of the University of Birmingham I have been working on design and analysis of transient GCM simulations of the mid-Holocene (7.0-4.5 ka BP), as part of the project MIDHOL. These simulations are being used to investigate the response of the coupled atmosphere-ocean system to orbital and solar forcing, and to test hypotheses obtained from proxy data, for example on the location of the southern hemisphere westerlies (together with the projects SALSA).

Such consistency tests between proxy and GCM simulations are essential for reducing the uncertainties in estimates of natural climate variability and for improving climate models, as GCMs are the main tool for estimating the sensitivity of future climate to changing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases.

The influence of atmospheric and oceanic circulation on Greenland Temperatures.

Together with Edward Hanna (Geography, Sheffield) we are investigating the stability of links between atmospheric and oceanic circulation and Greenland station temperatures over the past 100 years.

Regional climate modelling for the European Alps.

Together with Kerstin Prömmel of the Free University of Berlin and Martin Widmann of the University of Birmingham, and as part of the EU Framework 5 project ALP-IMP, I am involved in analysis of a regional model simulation for the Greater Alpine Region (GAR), including the question as to whether the high-resolution simulation brings added value compared to reanalysis over the GAR, and a study of meso-scale internal climate variability patterns in the region.


As a climate scientist, I enjoy bringing across to students how and why meteorology and climate is relevant to a wide range of geographical disciplines.

For example understanding how the climate system works (Atmospheres and Oceans), how and why current climates are changing (Contemporary Climate Change and Processes), to the potential impacts of climate change on developing countries (Living with Climate Change in the Global South).

Julie teaches on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses including:

GEO206 Environmental Change
GEO234 Atmospheres and Oceans
GEO255 Environmental Modelling
GEO354 Contemporary Climate Change and Processes

GEO6610 Polar and Alpine Climates
GEO6807 Understanding Environmental Change
GEO6809 Living with Climate Change in the Global South

All staff also engage in personal supervision and tutoring of individual students at all three undergraduate levels in the following modules:
GEO163 (Information & Communication Skills for Geographers)
GEO263 or GEO264 (Research Design in Human or Physical Geography)
GEO356 (Geographical Research Project)

Key Publications

  • Jones, J.M., Fogt, R.L., Widmann, M., Marshall, G.J., Jones, P.D. and Visbeck, M. (2009). Historical SAM Variability. Part I: Century-Length Seasonal Reconstructions. Journal of Climate, 22(20), 5319-5345.
  • Fogt, R.L., Perlwitz, J., Monaghan, A.J., Bromwich, D.H., Jones, J.M. and Marshall, G.J. (2009). Historical SAM Variability. Part II: 20th century variability and trends from reconstructions, observations, and the IPCC AR4 Models. Journal of Climate, 22(20), 5346-5365.
  • Wagner, S., Widmann, M., Jones, J.M., Haberzettl, T., Lücke, A., Mayr, C., Ohlendorf, C., Schäbitz, F. and Zolitschka, B. (2007). Transient simulations, empirical reconstructions, and forcing mechanisms for the mid-Holocene hydrological climate in southern Patagonia. Climate Dynamics, 29, 333-355.
  • Jones, J.M. and Widmann, M. (2004). Early peak in Antarctic oscillation index. Nature, 432, 290-291.
  • Jones, J.M. and Widmann, M. (2003). Instrumental- and tree-ring-based estimates for the Antarctic Oscillation. Journal of Climate, 16, 3511-3524

Other information

Julie is a fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society.

Julie is Department Exams Officer