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Dr Tamsin Edwards

Dr Tamsin Edwards

Dr Tamsin Edwards
MPhys, PhD(Manc)

Research Collaborator

Area of research

Uncertainty in earth system modelling

Office F1, 12 Berkeley Square
University Road,
Clifton, Bristol BS8 1SS
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 3314152



I'm interested in assessing uncertainty for models of the earth system. My PhD was in particle physics (diffractive Z bosons). Since moving into climate science I've done climate modelling, experimental design and analysis for future sea level projections, and dabbled in vegetation and ice sheet modelling. I've also reviewed and recommended best practice in uncertainty assessment and communication in lots of different areas of earth system science, particularly in climate and extreme weather.

I'm currently funded by the EU Framework 7 programme ice2sea, which aims to improve projections of the contribution of ice to future sea level changes over the next 200 years. As a side-project I'm studying past climates to estimate climate sensitivity to atmospheric CO2. I worked on the NERC scoping study SAPPUR defining a research programme on uncertainty and risk in natural hazards. I wrote the part about hydrometeorological hazards (droughts, heat waves, extreme precipitation, and wind storms), both today and how they might change in the future. As well as various research programmes this led to a Cambridge University Press book on Risk and Uncertainty Assessment for Natural Hazards - pdf of my two chapters on hydrometeorological hazards here. I'm a member of SUPRAnet, a group of researchers that aims to improve the quantification of uncertainty in palaeoclimate reconstructions.


See Publications and below. 

In press

Goelzer, H., P. Huybrechts, J.J. Fürst, M.L. Andersen, T.L. Edwards, X. Fettweis, F.M. Nick, A.J. Payne and S. Shannon. Sensitivity of Greenland ice sheet projections to model formulations. Journal of Glaciology, in press.

Shannon, S.R., A.J. Payne, I.D. Bartholomew, M.R. van den Broeke, T.L. Edwards, X. Fettweis, O. Gagliardini, F. Gillet-Chaulet, H. Goelzer, M. Hoffman, P. Huybrechts, D. Mair, P. Nienow, M. Perego, S.F. Price, C.J.P.P Smeets, A.J. Sole, R.S.W. van de Wal and T. Zwinger. Enhanced basal lubrication and the contribution of the Greenland ice sheet to future sea level rise. PNAS, in press.

In review

Annan, J.D., Crucifix, M., Edwards, T.L. and Paul, A. Parameter estimation using Paleo-Data Assimilation. Invited contribution, PAGES News.

Edwards, T.L., X. Fettweis, O. Gagliardini, F. Gillet-chalet, H. Goelzer, J. M. Gregory, M. Hoffman, P. Huybrechts, A. J. Payne, M. Perego, S. Price, A. Quiquet and C. Ritz. (2013) Effect of uncertainty in surface mass balance elevation feedback on projections of the future sea level contribution of the Greenland ice sheet, Part I: Parameterisation. The Cryosphere Discussions, 7, 635-674. 

Edwards, T.L., X. Fettweis, O. Gagliardini, F. Gillet-chalet, H. Goelzer, J. M. Gregory, M. Hoffman, P. Huybrechts, A. J. Payne, M. Perego, S. Price, A. Quiquet and C. Ritz. (2013) Effect of uncertainty in surface mass balance elevation feedback on projections of the future sea level contribution of the Greenland ice sheet, Part II: Projections. The Cryosphere Discussions, 7, 675-708.

Edwards, T.L., Annan, J.D., Crucifix, M., Gebbie, G. and Paul, A. Best-of-both-worlds estimates for timeslices of the past. Invited contribution, PAGES News.

Hakim, G., Annan, J., Broenniman, S., Crucifix, M., Edwards, T.L., Goosse, H., van der Schrier, G. and Widman, M. Overview of data assimilation methods. Invited contribution, PAGES News.

Payne, A.J., S.L. Cornford, D.F. Martin, C. Agosta, M.R. van den Broeke, T.L. Edwards, R.M. Gladstone, H.H. Hellmer, G. Krinner, A.M. Le Brocq, S.M. Ligtenberg, W.H. Lipscomb, E.G. Ng, S.R. Shannon , R. Timmerman and D.G. Vaughan. Impact of uncertainty in climate forcing on projections of the West Antarctic ice sheet over the 21st and 22nd centuries. Submitted to Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

Non peer-reviewed

Ford. E.A. (ed.) [Vaughan, D.G., Aðalgeirsdóttir, G., Agosta, C., Bamber, J.L., Barletta, V., Durand, G., Edwards, T.L., Fettweis, X., Gagliardini, O., Hellmer, H., Holland, P.B., Howard, T., Payne, A.J., Ridley, J., Smeets, P., Spada, G., Timmermann, R., Trouvilliez, A., and van den Broeke, M.] (2013), From Ice to High Seas: synthesis report of ice2sea. The ice2sea Consortium, Cambridge, UK.

Edited by Dr. Elaina A. K. Ford
Scientific contributors: Prof. David G. Vaughan, Dr. Guðfinna Aðalgeirsdóttir, 
Dr. Cécile Agosta, Prof. Jonathan L. Bamber, Dr. Valentina Barletta, Dr. Gael Durand, 
Dr. Tamsin L. Edwards, Dr. Xavier Fettweis, Prof. Olivier Gagliardini, Dr. Hartmut H. Hellmer, 
Mr. Paul B. Holland, Dr. Tom Howard, Prof. Antony J. Payne, Dr. Jeff Ridley, Dr. Paul Smeets, 
Prof. Giorgio Spada, Dr. Ralph Timmermann, Dr. Alexandre Trouvilliez, 
and Prof. Michiel van den Broeke.

Rae, J; Aðalgeirsdóttir, G; Edwards, T; Fettweis, X; Gregory, J; Hewitt, H; Lowe, J; Lucas-Picher, P; Mottram, R; Payne, T; Ridley, J; Shannon, S; Van de Berg, W.J.; Van de Wal, R; Van den Broeke, M. (2011). Twenty-first century climate change in Greenland: a comparative analysis of three Regional Climate Models. HCTN 90. Nov 2011

Edwards, T.L. (2009), Risk and Uncertainty in Hydrometeorological Hazards, NERC Scoping Study on the Analysis, Propagation and Communication of Probability, Uncertainty and Risk (SAPPUR).


Many of my conference presentations and lectures can be found on my page.


Favourite quote: "If most climate scientists were like Tamsin, there'd be hardly any sceptics".

PLOS blog: All Models Are Wrong

Twitter: @flimsin

Media CV: experience, A/V, testimonials.


I started at the University of Bristol in 2006, after my PhD in high energy physics and MPhys at the University of Manchester.

Projects I have worked, or am currently working, for:


Senior Associate Teacher:

  • State of the Planet; Predicting and Changing the Future; Science and Society; Resilience: for Sustainable Development, 1st yr UG Open Unit (2011-present).

External teacher:

  • Climate modelling; Detection & attribution of climate change: for Climate change, 3rd yr UG Geog., U. of Gloucestershire (2008-2009).


  • Public engagement in climate science: for Big Ideas in Science, 1st yr UG Open Unit (2013);
  • Climate change; Abrupt climate change: for World in Crisis, 1st yr UG Open Unit (2011);
  • Land use and vegetation feedbacks (2009-2011); The next million years of climate (2012): for Environmental Impacts & Policy / Society & Nature, 3rd year UG Geographical Sciences;
  • Complexity and uncertainty in earth system modelling: for Introduction to Environmental Modelling, 4th yr UG Earth Sciences (2012);
  • China and the Environment: for MSc/MRes in Earth System Science (2008); 
  • Public understanding of prediction and uncertainty (2012); Calibration and uncertainty in earth system models (2013): for Cabot/CREDIBLE Summer School on Risk and Uncertainty in Natural Hazards, open to postgraduates, early career researchers, scientists from industry and government agencies (2013).


  • Numerical modelling in R: for Research Methods in Physical Geography / Environment & Society, 2nd yr UG Geographical Sciences (2012);
  • Field trip, 1st yr UG Geographical Sciences (2008-2009).


Many of my lectures can be found on my page.


  • Uncertainty
  • sea level
  • palaeoclimate
  • modelling
  • statistics
  • Bayesian
  • predictions
  • reconstructions

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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