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Dr Paul Young

Formerly at Lancaster University

PhD supervision

I'm always keen to hear from talented science students interested in climate science, Earth system modelling and atmospheric composition. If you're interested in working with me, please get in touch via email to discuss opportunities.


I am an atmospheric scientist with core expertise in atmospheric composition and climate, working on science problems related to air pollution, the stratospheric ozone layer and climate change. Research in my group covers the core physical and chemical science related to these issues, alongside their intersection with society and social science questions as well as how modern data science methods can bring new insights.

I am the Environment Theme lead for Lancaster's Institute for Social Futures and the Director of Postgraduate Research in Lancaster Environment Centre.   


I lead a diverse and distinctive research group of atmospheric scientists, data scientists, urban design researchers, ecologists and social scientists. We are engaged in research at the interface of climate, pollution and society, using methods and tools from environmental science, data science, critical social science and humanities. Work is done in collaboration with professional and public stakeholders as well as colleagues from the full range of other disciplines, with the overall goal to create socially and environmentally just futures. Our current focus areas include diversifying scenarios for climate models, climate change and business, citizen science and community-engagement, and uncertainty quantification and process model evaluation. The geographical scope is global, but with case studies in UK and Global South contexts.

Current and recent research projects include UV in the Earth system and how the Montreal Protocol averted increases in atmospheric CO2 (paper, conversation article, BBC Inside Science interview); DSNE (2018-2024; Data Science for the Natural Environment), which aims to bring state of the art data science and statistical science techniques to bear on important environmental problems, and where I lead the air quality environmental challenge; Models in the Cloud (2016-2020), which leveraged computer science expertise to make running environmental models more straightforward, with an environmental focus on urban heat islands; a project to investigate the impact of short-lived halogens on the ozone layer (2019-2020; ISHOC); and a project to understand and better quantify uncertainty in global atmospheric chemistry models. You can find information about my published research on my google scholar page.

I am a lead author for the forthcoming (2022) WMO/UNEP Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion report, as well as an author for the 2018 and 2014 reports; I was an author on the 2018 (main) and 2019 and 2020 (update) reports of the UNEP/WMO Environmental Effects of Ozone Depletion report; I was a coordinating lead author on the IGAC Tropospheric Ozone Assessment Report; and I was a contributing author to two chapters of the IPCC 5th Assessment Report. I am a member of the Reactive Gases Science Advisory Group of the WMO Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW), and was a member of the Scientific Steering Committee for the IGAC/SPARC Chemistry-Climate Model Initiative (CCMI).  


I provided a climate science briefing to Copeland's People's Panel on Climate ChangeLancaster's People’s Climate Jury, oral evidence to Lancaster City Council's Climate Emergency Declaration, consultation to the Financial Times for their "Climate Change: What do you want me to say?" video, and advice and consultation with Dee McLean (artist and illustrator) for series of books and exhibitions on local and global change. I have worked with the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD) to investigate approaches for companies to respond to the requirements of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) (how will different climate change scenarios impact them?), as well as working on the same issue with Nestlé in more detail. 


I teach a 3rd year/Masters-level course on Global Change and the Earth System (LEC378 and LEC477), covering climate change, ozone depletion and air pollution: how they couple and feedback across the Earth system, and how we use measurements and models to understand it all. I also teach maths to first years in need of a refresher (LEC181). 

Until 2017, I was the LEC Careers and Alumni tutor, acting as a bridge between our students and the careers advice provided centrally, and seeking to engage our alumni in our current activities. Past and current students can stay up to date with careers and employability information by liking the BeyondLEC Facebook page


PhD in Atmospheric Chemistry, University of Cambridge, UK

MSci in Chemistry with Environmental Science, University of Bristol, UK

Career Details

2012-present: Senior Lecturer (since 2018) and Lecturer, Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, UK

2008-2012: Post-doc then Research Scientist I, NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, CO, USA (with Susan Solomon then Karen Rosenlof)

2007-2008: Post-doctoral Research Associate, University of Cambridge, UK (John Pyle's group; worked on the QUEST project)

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