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Dr Neil Robert Edwards

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Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Reader in Earth System Science
  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
  • School of Environment, Earth & Ecosystem Sciences
  • neil.edwards

Professional biography

Climate and environmental change breaks the statistical predictability that underlies insurance against natural disasters, questions the regulation of borrowing and investment between generations, disturbs the ecological systems that support the global population and threatens the stability of nations. 

The impacts and feedbacks are dynamic, complex and multi-scale in space and time, they cannot be properly managed without an evolving dialogue that thoroughly explores the interface between environmental and socio-economic change. 

My research exploits dynamically simplified Earth system models and complementary approaches to bring the understanding of processes and feedbacks between natural and human systems and sub-systems to the fore.

Through a series of major interdisciplinary consortium projects, including GENIE and ERMITAGE, I have played a leading role in the integration of modelling and observational paleoclimate research and in the integration of detailed Earth system models with complex macroeconomic and energy technology forecasting models for the purposes of environmental policy assessments. 

To date I have been instrumental in raising over £20m of funding for Earth-system and integrated assessment modelling research and published 70 refereed articles in a range of related fields (H=27 Google Scholar January 2017).

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring 
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time. (TS Eliot)

Research interests

Climate Dynamics, Integrated Assessment Modelling, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics.

Teaching interests

I have worked on a number of environment-related modules and recently chaired two interdisciplinary third-level modules in presentation, U316 The environmental web and S396 Ecosystems. I am currently chairing the revision of the third-level Ecosystems module. 

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research (CEPSAR)CentreFaculty of Science

 

Externally funded projects

Spatio-temporal dynamics of damage functions in IAMs

RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead01/Mar/201631/Aug/2016University of Exeter
The project will carry out a scoping study of how climate impacts (damages functions) could be better incorporated into advanced macroeconomic models. In particular, the study will consider the diffusion of impacts across: • time • space • sectors resulting from localised impacts in regions that are particularly vulnerable to climate change. The study will consider which local impacts might have greatest global impact and therefore merit most detailed attention in further work.

Quantifying Uncertainty in ANTarctic Ice Sheet instability

RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Co-investigator01/Aug/201531/Jan/2016University of Exeter
Large parts of the Antarctic ice sheet lie on bedrock below sea level and may be vulnerable to a positive feedback known as Marine Ice Sheet Instability (MISI), a self-sustaining retreat of the grounding line triggered by oceanic or atmospheric changes. There is growing evidence MISI may be underway throughout the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) of West Antarctica. If this is sustained the region could contribute up to 1-2 m to global mean sea level, and if triggered in other areas the potential contribution to sea level on centennial to millennial timescales could be two to three times greater. However, physically plausible projections of Antarctic MISI are challenging: numerical ice sheet models are either too low in spatial resolution to explicitly resolve grounding line processes or else too computationally expensive to assess modeling uncertainties. The proposed work brings together and analyses two new datasets that complement each other in model complexity – a large ensemble generated with a low resolution model, and a small ensemble from a high resolution model – by constructing a new emulator of the relationship between them.

Publications

Smart Cities and M3: Rapid Research, Meaningful Metrics and Co-Design (2017-05-23)
Bell, Simon; Benatti, Francesca; Edwards, Neil R.; Laney, Robin; Morse, David R.; Piccolo, Lara and Zanetti, Oliver
Systemic Practice and Action Research ((Early Access))
Physical and economic consequences of sea-level rise: a coupled GIS and CGE analysis under uncertainties (2016-12)
Joshi, Santosh R.; Vielle, Marc; Babonneau, F; Edwards, Neil R. and Holden, Philip B.
Environmental and Resource Economics, 65(4) (pp. 813-839)
PLASIM–GENIE v1.0: a new intermediate complexity AOGCM (2016-09-21)
Holden, Philip B.; Edwards, Neil R.; Fraedrich, Klaus; Kirk, Edilbert; Lunkeit, Frank and Zhu, Xiuhua
Geoscientific Model Development, 9 (pp. 3347-3361)
Building a traceable climate model hierarchy with multi-level emulators (2016-04-18)
Tran, Giang T.; Oliver, Kevin I. C.; Sóbester, András; Toal, David J. J.; Holden, Philip B.; Marsh, Robert; Challenor, Peter and Edwards, Neil R.
Advances in Statistical Climatology, Meteorology and Oceanography, 2(1) (pp. 17-37)
Modelling complex systems of heterogeneous agents to better design sustainability transitions policy (2016-03)
Mercure, Jean-Francois; Pollitt, Hector; Bassi, Andrea M.; Viñuales, Jorge E. and Edwards, Neil R.
Global Environmental Change, 37 (pp. 102-115)
Climate model emulation in an integrated assessment framework: a case study for mitigation policies in the electricity sector (2016-02-15)
Foley, A. M.; Holden, P. B.; Edwards, N. R.; Mercure, J-F.; Salas, P.; Pollitt, H. and Chewpreecha, U.
Earth System Dynamics, 7(1) (pp. 119-132)
Emulating global climate change impacts on crop yields (2015-12-01)
Oyebamiji, Oluwole K.; Edwards, Neil R.; Holden, Philip B.; Garthwaite, Paul H.; Schaphoff, Sibyll and Gerten, Dieter
Statistical Modelling, 15(6) (pp. 499-525)
Worldwide impacts of climate change on energy for heating and cooling (2015-10)
Labriet, Maryse; Joshi, Santosh R.; Vielle, Marc; Holden, Philip B.; Edwards, Neil R.; Kanudia, Amit; Loulou, Richard and Babonneau, Frédéric
Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 20(7) (pp. 1111-1136)
Agricultural productivity in past societies: toward an empirically informed model for testing cultural evolutionary hypotheses (2015-07)
Currie, Thomas E.; Bogaard, Amy; Cesaretti, Rudolf; Edwards, Neil R.; Francois, Pieter; Holden, Philip B.; Hoyer, Daniel; Korotayev, Andrey; Manning , Joe; Garcia, Juan Carlos Moreno; Oyebamiji, Oluwole K.; Petrie, Cameron; Turchin, Peter; Whitehouse, Harvey and Williams, Alice
Cliodynamics, 6(1) (pp. 24-56)
Emulation and interpretation of high-dimensional climate model outputs (2015)
Holden, Philip B.; Edwards, Neil R.; Garthwaite, Paul H. and Wilkinson, Richard D.
Journal of Applied Statistics, 42(9) (pp. 2038-2055)
The dynamics of technology diffusion and the impacts of climate policy instruments in the decarbonisation of the global electricity sector (2014-10)
Mercure, J. F.; Pollitt, H.; Chepreecha, U.; Salas, P.; Foley, A. M.; Holden, P. B. and Edwards, N. R.
Energy Policy, 73 (pp. 686-700)
Historical and future learning about climate sensitivity (2014-04-16)
Urban, Nathan M.; Holden, Philip B.; Edwards, Neil R.; Sriver, Ryan L. and Keller, Klaus
Geophysical Research Letters, 41(7) (pp. 2543-2552)
PLASIM-ENTSem v1.0: a spatio-temporal emulator of future climate change for impacts assessment (2014-02-26)
Holden, P. B.; Edwards, N. R,; Garthwaite, P. H.; Fraedrich, K.; Lunkeit, F.; Kirk, E.; Labriet, M.; Kanudia, A. and Babonneau, F.
Geoscientific Model Development, 7 (pp. 433-451)
Long-term climate change commitment and reversibility: an EMIC intercomparison (2013-08)
Zickfeld, Kirsten; Eby , Michael; Alexander, Kaitlin; Weaver, Andrew J.; Crespin, Elisabeth; Fichefet, Thierry; Goosse, Hugues; Philippon-Berthier, Gwenaëlle; Edwards, Neil R.; Holden, Philip B.; Eliseev, Alexey V.; Mokhov, Igor I.; Feulner, Georg; Kienert, Hendrik; Perrette, Mahé; Schneider von Deimling, Thomas; Forest, Chris E.; Friedlingstein, Pierre; Joos, Fortunat; Spahni, Renato; Steinacher, Marco; Kawamiya, Michio; Tachiiri, Kaoru; Kicklighter, David; Monier, Erwan; Schlosser, Adam; Sokolov, Andrei; Matsumoto, Katsumi; Tokos, Kathy S.; Olsen, Steffen M.; Pedersen, Jens O. P.; Ridgwell, Andy; Shaffer, Gary; Yoshimori, Masakazu; Zeng, Ning and Zhao, Fang
Journal of Climate, 26(6) (pp. 5782-5809)
Historical and idealized climate model experiments: an intercomparison of Earth system models of intermediate complexity (2013-05-15)
Eby, M.; Weaver, A. J.; Alexander, K.; Zickfeld, K.; Abe-Ouchi, A.; Cimatoribus, A. A.; Crespin, E.; Drijfhout, S. S.; Edwards, N. R.; Eliseev, A. V.; Feulner, G.; Fichefet, T.; Forest, C. E.; Goosse, H.; Holden, P. B.; Joos, F.; Kawamiya, M.; Kicklighter, D.; Kienert, H.; Matsumoto, K.; Mokhov, I. I.; Monier, E.; Olsen, S. M.; Pedersen, J. O. P.; Perrette, M.; Philippon-Berthier, G.; Ridgwell, A.; Schlosser, A.; Schneider von Deimling, T.; Shaffer, G.; Smith, R. S.; Spahni, R.; Sokolov, A. P.; Steinacher, M.; Tachiiri, K.; Tokos, K.; Yoshimori, M.; Zeng, N. and Zhao, F.
Climate of the Past, 9 (pp. 1111-1140)
Controls on the spatial distribution of oceanic δ13CDIC (2013-03-19)
Holden, P. B.; Edwards, N. R.; Müller, S. A.; Oliver, K. I. C.; Death, R. M. and Ridgwell, A.
Biogeosciences, 10(3) (pp. 1815-1833)
Carbon dioxide and climate impulse response functions for the computation of greenhouse gas metrics: a multi-model analysis (2013-03-08)
Joos, F.; Roth, R.; Fuglestvedt, J. S.; Peters, G. P.; Enting, I. G.; von Bloh, W.; Brovkin, V.; Burke, E. J.; Eby, M.; Edwards, N. R.; Friedrich, T.; Fröhlicher, T. L.; Halloran, P. R.; Holden, P. B.; Jones, C.; Kleinen, T.; Mackenzie, F. T.; Matsumoto, K.; Meinshausen, M.; Plattner, G.-K.; Reisinger, A.; Segschneider, J.; Shaffer, G.; Steinacher, M.; Strassmann, K.; Tanaka, K.; Timmermann, A. and Weaver, A. J.
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 13(5) (pp. 2793-2825)
A model-based constraint on CO2 fertilisation (2013-01-23)
Holden, P. B.; Edwards, N. R.; Gerten, D. and Schaphoff, S.
Biogeosciences, 10(1) (pp. 339-355)
Incorporation of the C-GOLDSTEIN efficient climate model into the GENIE framework: “eb_go_gs” configurations of GENIE (2011-11-15)
Marsh, R.; Müller, S.A.; Yool, A and Edwards, N.R.
Geoscientific Model Development, 4 (pp. 957-992)
Mitigation: Plausible mitigation targets (2011-10-23)
Edwards, Neil R
Nature Climate Change, 1 (pp. 395-396)
High frequency variability of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (2011-07-18)
Balan Sarojini, B.; Gregory, J. M.; Tailleux, R.; Bigg, G. R. ; Blaker, A. T.; Cameron, D. R.; Edwards, N. R.; Megann, A. P.; Shaffrey, L. C. and Sinha, B.
Ocean Science, 7 (pp. 471-486)
The Mid-Brunhes Event and West Antarctic ice sheet stability (2011-07)
Holden, P. B.; Edwards, N. R.; Wolff, E. W.; Valdes, P. J. and Singarayer, J. S.
Journal of Quaternary Science, 26(5) (pp. 474-477)
Energy policies avoiding a tipping point in the climate system (2011-01)
Bahn, Olivier; Edwards, Neil R.; Knutti, Reto and Stocker, Thomas F.
Energy policy, 39(1) (pp. 334-348)
Precalibrating an intermediate complexity climate model (2011)
Edwards, Neil; Cameron, David and Rougier, Jonathan
Climate Dynamics, 37(7-8) (pp. 1469-1482)
A multi-variable box model approach to the soft tissue carbon pump (2010-12-21)
de Boer, A. M.; Watson, A. J.; Edwards, N. R. and Oliver, K. I. C.
Climate of the Past, 6 (pp. 827-841)
Dimensionally reduced emulation of an AOGCM for application to integrated assessment modelling (2010-11-11)
Holden, P. B. and Edwards, N. R.
Geophysical Research Letters, 37(21) (L21707)
Interhemispheric coupling, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and warm Antarctic interglacials (2010-07-16)
Holden, P. B.; Edwards, N. R.; Wolff, E. W.; Lang, N. J.; Singarayer, J. S.; Valdes, P. J. and Stocker, T. F.
Climate of the Past, 6(4) (pp. 431-443)
Meridional density gradients do not control the Atlantic overturning circulation (2010-02)
de Boer, Agatha M.; Gnanadesikan, Anand; Edwards, Neil R. and Watson, Andrew J.
Journal of Physical Oceanography, 40(2) (pp. 368-380)
A probabilistic calibration of climate sensitivity and terrestrial carbon change in GENIE-1 (2010)
Holden, Philip B.; Edwards, N. R.; Oliver, K. I. C.; Lenton, T. M. and Wilkinson, R. D.
Climate Dynamics, 35(5) (pp. 785-806)
A synthesis of marine sediment core δ13C data over the last 150 000 years (2010)
Oliver, K. I. C.; Hoogakker, B. A. A.; Crowhurst, S.; Henderson, G. M.; Rickaby, R. E. M.; Edwards, N. R. and Elderfield, H.
Climate of the Past, 6, (pp. 645-673)
Modelled natural and excess radiocarbon: Sensitivities to the gas exchange formulation and ocean transport strength (2008-08)
Mueller, S. A.; Joos, F.; Plattner, G.-K.; Edwards, N. R. and Stocker, T. F.
Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 22(GB3011) (pp. 1-14)
Long-term climate commitments projected with climate-carbon cycle models (2008-06-15)
Plattner, G.-K.; Knutti, R.; Joos, F.; Stocker, T. F.; von Bloh, W.; Brovkin, V.; Cameron, D.; Driesschaert, E.; Dutkiewicz, S.; Eby, M.; Edwards, N. R.; Fichefet, T.; Hargreaves, J. C. ; Jones , C. D.; Loutre , M. F.; Matthews , H. D.; Mouchet , A.; Muller , S. A. ; Nawrath , S.; Price, A.; Sokolov, A.; Strassman, K. M. and Weaver, A. J.
Journal of Climate, 21(12) (pp. 2721-2751)
Location of potential energy sources and the export of dense water from the Atlantic Ocean (2008)
Oliver, K. I. C. and Edwards, N. R.
Geophysical Research Letters, 35 (L22604)
A wavelet-coefficient score for comparison of two-dimensional climatic-data fields (2008)
Livina, V. N.; Edwards, N. R.; Goswami, S. and Lenton, T. M.
Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 134(633) (pp. 941-955)
Effects of atmospheric dynamics and ocean resolution on bi-stability of the thermohaline circulation examined using the Grid ENabled Integrated Earth system modelling (GENIE) framework (2007-11)
Lenton, T. M.; Marsh, R.; Price, A. R.; Lunt, D. J.; Aksenov, Y.; Annan, J. D.; Cooper-Chadwick, T.; Cox, S. J.; Edwards, N. R.; Goswami, S.; Hargreaves, J. C.; Harris, P. P.; Jiao, Z.; Livina, V. N.; Payne, A. J.; Rutt, I. C.; Shepherd, J. G.; Valdes, P. J.; Williams, G.; Williamson, M. S. and Yool, A.
Climate Dynamics, 29(6) (pp. 591-613)
Marine geochemical data assimilation in an efficient Earth System Model of global biogeochemical cycling (2007-01-25)
Ridgwell, A.; Hargreaves, J. C.; Edwards, N. R.; Annan, J. D.; Lenton, T. M.; Marsh, R.; Yool, A. and Watson, A.
Biogeosciences, 4(1) (pp. 87-104)
Modeling the relationship between 231Pa/230Th distribution in North Atlantic sediment and Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (2007)
Siddall, Mark; Stocker, Thomas F.; Henderson, Gideon M.; Joos, Fortunat; Frank, Martin; Edwards, Neil R.; Ritz, Stefan P. and Muller, Simon A.
Paleoceanography, 22(PA2214)
The coupling of optimal economic growth and climate dynamics (2006-11)
Bahn, Olivier; Drouet, Laurent; Edwards, Neil R.; Haurie, Alain; Knutti, Reto; Kypreos, Socrates; Stocker, Thomas F. and Vial, Jean-Philippe
Climatic Change, 79(1-2) (pp. 103-119)
Water mass distribution and ventilation time scales in a cost-efficient, 3-dimensional ocean model (2006-11)
Müller, S. A. ; Joos, F. ; Edwards, N. R. and Stocker, T. F.
Journal of Climate, 19(21) (pp. 5479-5499)
An efficient numerical terrestrial scheme (ENTS) for Earth system modelling (2006-10)
Williamson, M. S.; Lenton, T. M.; Shepherd, J. G. and Edwards, N. R.
Ecological Modelling, 198(3-4) (pp. 362-374)
Millennial timescale carbon cycle and climate change in an efficient Earth system model (2006-06)
Lenton, T.M.; Williamson, M.S.; Edwards, N.R.; Marsh, R.; Price, A.R.; Ridgwell, A.J.; Shepherd, J.G. and The, GENIE Team
Climate Dynamics, 26(7-8) (pp. 687-711)
Coupling climate and economic models in a cost-benefit framework: a convex optimization approach (2006)
Drouet, L.; Edwards, N. R. and Haurie, A.
Environmental Modeling and Assessment, 11(2) (pp. 101-114)
231Pa/230Th fractionation by ocean transport, biogenic particle flux and particle type (2005-08-30)
Siddall, Mark; Henderson, Gideon M.; Edwards, Neil R.; Frank, Martin; Muller, Simon A.; Stocker, Thomas F. and Joos, Fortunat
Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 237(1-2) (pp. 135-155)
Focusing of an inertia - gravity wave packet by a baroclinic shear flow (2005-06)
Edwards, N. R. and Staquet, C.
Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans, 40(1-2) (pp. 91-113)
Uncertainties due to transport-parameter sensitivity in an efficient 3-D ocean-climate model (2005-03)
Edwards, Neil R. and Marsh, Robert
Climate Dynamics, 24(4) (pp. 415-433)
Parameter estimation in an intermediate complexity earth system model using an ensemble Kalman filter (2005)
Annan, J.D.; Hargreaves, J.C.; Edwards, N.R. and Marsh, R.
Ocean Modelling, 8(1-2) (pp. 135-154)
Oracle-based optimization applied to climate model calibration (2005)
Beltran, Cesar; Edwards, N. R. ; Haurie, A. B.; Vial, J. P. and Zachary, D. S.
Environmental Modeling and Assessment, 11(1) (pp. 31-43)
An efficient climate forecasting method using an intermediate complexity Earth System Model and the ensemble Kalman filter (2004-12)
Hargreaves, J. C.; Annan, J. D.; Edwards, N. R. and Marsh, R.
Climate Dynamics, 23(7-8) (pp. 745-760)
Bistability of the thermohaline circulation identified through comprehensive 2-parameter sweeps of an efficient climate model (2004-12)
Marsh, R.; Yool, A.; Lenton, T. M.; Gulamali, M. Y.; Edwards, N .R.; Shepherd, J. G.; Krznaric, M.; Newhouse, S. and Cox, S. J.
Climate Dynamics, 23(7-8) (pp. 761-777)
Similar meltwater contributions to glacial sea level changes from Antarctic and northern ice sheets (2004-08-26)
Rohling, Eelco J.; Marsh, Robert; Wells, Neil C.; Siddall, Mark and Edwards, Neil R.
Nature, 430(7003) (pp. 1016-1021)
Nonlinear double-diffusive intrusions at the equator (2004-03-01)
Edwards, N. R. and Richards, K. J.
Journal of Marine Research, 62(2) (pp. 233-259)
Fairness in climate negotiations: a meta-game analysis based on community integrated assessment (2015-01-15)
Haurie, Alain; Babonneau, Frederic; Edwards, Neil; Holden, Philip; Kanudia, Amit; Labriet, Maryse; Pizzileo, Barbara and Vielle, Marc
In: Bernard, Lucas ed. The Oxford Handbook of the Macroeconomics of Global Warming (pp. 170-203)
ISBN : 978-0-19-985697-8 | Publisher : OUP USA | Published : New York
Assessing climate impacts on the energy sector with TIAM-WORLD: focus on heating and cooling and hydropower potential (2015-01-01)
Labriet, Maryse; Biberacher, Marcus; Holden, Philip B.; Edwards, Neil R.; Kanudia, Amit and Loulou, Richard
In: Giannakidis, George; Labriet, Maryse; O Gallachoir, Brian and Tosato, GianCarlo eds. Informing Energy and Climate Policies Using Energy Systems Models: Insights from Scenario Analysis Increasing the Evidence Base. Lecture Notes in Energy (30) (pp. 389-409)
ISBN : 978-3-319-16539-4 | Publisher : Springer International Publishing | Published : Cham
Linking climate and economic dynamics (2005)
Edwards, Neil; Greppin, Hubert; Haurie, Alain and Viguier, Laurent
In: Haurie, Alain and Viguier, Laurent eds. The Coupling of Climate and Economic Dynamics: Essays on Integrated Assessment. Advances In Global Change Research (22) (pp. 1-34)
ISBN : 1402034245 | Publisher : Springer | Published : Dordrecht, Netherlands
An Oracle method to couple climate and economic dynamics (2005)
Beltran, Cesar; Drouet, Laurent; Edwards, Neil; Haurie, Alain; Vial, Jean-Philippe and Zachary, Daniel
In: Haurie, Alain and Viguier, Laurent eds. The Coupling of Climate and Economic Dynamics. Advances In Global Change Research (22) (pp. 69-95)
ISBN : 9781402034251 | Publisher : 2005 Springer | Published : Dordrecht, Netherlands
Multiobjective tuning of grid-enabled Earth system models using a non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm (NSGA-II) (2006)
Price, A. R. ; Voutchkov, I. I. ; Pound , G. E. ; Edwards, N. R. ; Lenton, T. M. ; Cox, S. J. and The GENIE team,
In : 2nd International Conference on eScience and Grid Computing (04-06 Dec 2006, Amsterdam, Netherlands )

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