Joe McNorton

Research Department, Earth System Modelling Section, Coupled Processes Group


Joe McNorton is a scientist working in both the Coupled Processes Group and the Fire Forecasting Group at ECMWF. His research interests focus on the development of a fire spread model to forecast fire danger in real-time. This includes model development regarding fuel load and state, as well as environmental predictors of fire spread (e.g. wind, orography etc.). This work is closely related to existing developments within the land surface scheme and the coupled atmosphere, with fire feedbacks expected to impact on numerical weather prediction and land surface processes.

Joe previously worked on developing a global CO2 Monitoring and Verification System at ECMWF. His role involved the development of an urban scheme in the land surface model for both NWP and for the modelling of residential heating emissions of CO2. This also involved the development and assessment of short-window atmospheric inversions for trace gas emissions. Furthermore, this work involved the assessment of atmospheric transport errors in trace gas monitoring using the IFS ensemble forecast system. Within the context of the wider investigation into greenhouse gas monitoring, Joe assisted in the development of an online wetland emissions model of CH4.

Professional interests:

•  Development of land surface physical processes to support NWP, climate and hazard forecasting.
•  Land surface-atmosphere feed backs.
•  Use of novel data to inform model developments.

Career background:

Job History

2018-2022 Scientist on the CO2 Human Emissions Project and the Copernicus CO2 Project, ECMWF

2016-2018 Post-doctoral Research Associate working on the Methane Observations and Yearly Assessments Project, University of Leeds, UK

2009-2011 Teacher of Science and ICT, Hamilton Community College, Leicester, UK


2012-2016 PhD in Atmospheric Chemistry (Methane Emissions and Trends), University of Leeds, UK

2011-2012 MSc Oceanography with Ocean Remote Sensing, University of Southampton, UK

2008-2009 PGCE Secondary Science Education (Physics), University of Leicester, UK

2005-2008 BSc Physics with Astrophysics, University of Leicester, UK

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