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Emily Potter

Emily Potter

PhD student

"Local meteorology in valleys in the the Nepalese Himalaya" - joint project between the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS)

Biography

I study meteorology in the Nepalese Himalayas, through a mixture of modelling and fieldwork. At present my research is based in the Khumbu valley, Nepal. I am particularly focussed on the dynamics of the wind in the valley, and how the wind is affected by glaciers. In addition, I am investigating temperature variation and lapse rates in the valley.

Research

The Himalayan region holds the largest quantity of snow and ice outside of the Polar Regions, and the meltwater from this contributes to the major rivers in Asia. There is huge uncertainty as to how snowpacks and glaciers are affected by atmospheric processes in the Himalayas. In addition to synoptic weather, localised wind systems play a big role in the regional climate in individual valleys. The valley winds in the region are complicated by the presence of glacier winds, caused by the snow and ice cooling a thin layer of air directly above the surface.

My PhD aims to investigate the factors which affect the development of the valley winds in the Khumbu valley, through modelling using the WRF model. It also looks at the effect of the surface conditions (snow and ice) on the wind and temperature. I am particularly focussed on atmospheric processes which might affect or be affected by the glaciers in the region. In addition, I have set up a new series of thermometers in the Khumbu valley and Khumbu glacier, over the monsoon season 2017. The data from these is used to investigate temperature variation over the valley.

Publications

Potter, E.R., Orr, A., Willis, I.C., Bannister, D. and Salerno, F., Dynamical drivers of the local wind regime in a Himalayan valley. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres. 2018.

Career

  • 2015-present: PhD in Polar Studies. British Antarctic Survey and Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge (Wolfson College).
  • 2014-2015: MSc Mathematical Modelling, University College London.
  • 2012-2014: Mathematics Teacher

Qualifications

  • 2015-present: PhD in Polar Studies. British Antarctic Survey and Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge (Wolfson College).
  • 2014-2015: MSc Mathematical Modelling, University College London.
  • 2008-2012: MMath in Mathematics, University of Oxford.

Teaching

  • Supervisor, Natural Sciences Tripos, 1A: Maths for Natural Sciences (2016-2017)

External activities

  • Talk at the Science Museum, London with the Science on a Sphere project (2017)
  • BlueDot science festival "Vanishing Glaciers of Everest" activity. (2017)
  • Royal Meteorological Society "Want to be a Meteorologist?" careers talk to secondary school students. (2018)