School of GeoSciences

School of GeoSciences


Christopher Merchant

Reader in Earth Observation. Research focus is in applying quantitative remote sensing to understanding of the Earth's climate system. Current research projects address marine climate, lake temperature & ice cover, and techniques to improve thermal remote sensing over land. Teaching covers meteorology, climate and remote sensing.

Chris is Science Leader for the European Space Agency Climate Change Initiative on Sea Surface Temperature. He is Principal Investigator for the EarthTemp Network, and chairs the group on climate data records within the Group for High Resolution Sea Surface Temperature (GHRSST).

Link to Publications

Research Team

Owen Embury is works mainly on a project called ATSR Reprocessing for Climate (ARC), funded by the Natural Environment Research Council and UK government. He is deriving sea surface temperatures by remote sensing that will be used for climate research, from sensors called Along Track Scanning Radiometers (ATSRs). This involves a facility capable of processing several tens of Tb of satellite data in a week or two, using software mainly developed by Owen.

Mark Filipiak is principally working on a project funded by theNational Centre for Earth Observation that we call NOAAS-ARC, because we are applying ARC techniques to the longer record of satellites from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Mark has a background in microwave limb sounding and has studied the near-surface diurnal variability of the ocean.

Stuart MacCallum is working on ARC-Lake for the European Space Agency, in which the idea is to adapt techniques from ARC for the world's major lakes. Lakes have often treated as a type of sea or a class of land cover, but to get climate-quality results for lake temperature and ice cover, lake-specific techniques are required.

Claire Bulgin is working on Bayesian classification of clear, cloudy and aerosol-laden atmospheric conditions to support improved exploitation of satellite observations for climate, ina project supported by NERC / NCEO.

Stephan Matthiesen is part-time project manager of the EarthTemp Network.

Link to selected presentations

Commentary on The Great Global Warming Swindle

A video lecture commenting on the controversial climate-skeptic documentary. Formatted for iPod, tested in Quicktime & iTunes, ~100 Mb.

Post:    School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh, Crew Building, King's Buildings, Edinburgh EH9 3JN
Telephone:    +44 (0)131 650 5097
Skype:   cjmerchant