Stuart Cunningham


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Research expertise

Prof. Stuart Andrew Cunningham
Head of Environmental Physics and Autonomous Technology
The preeminent scientific challenge of the 21st Century is to understand and quantify Earth¿s current and future climate. How will climate variability impact the ocean¿s sustainable resources and what are the human impacts of such change? Observing, modelling and quantifying marine systems is key to understanding their response to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide. Oceans¿ determine the rate, extent and character of climate by their long-term storage and transport of heat and carbon and dominance of the global fresh-water cycle. A critical challenge is to integrate our understanding of ocean systems on different timescales and across disciplines and to propose testable hypothesis of how these systems interact.
New technology, particularly the development of observing platforms and novel sensors will likely provide sustained observations of physical, chemical, biological and geological properties, and so play a critical role in this challenge for the 21st century.
I am an observational Physical Oceanographer with a B.Sc. (Astrophysics, University of Edinburgh) a M.Sc. (Physical Oceanography, University College of North Wales) and a Ph.D. (Ocean Inverse Modelling, University of Liverpool). I joined the Institute of Oceanographic Sciences in 1990 and then the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton. In August 2012 I joined SAMS as the MASTS appointment in Physical Oceanography. As an observational physical oceanographer I have participated in 32 research cruises (800+ days at sea). I have written or co-authored 35 refereed scientific publications including three in Nature or Science. From 2004 to 2012 I was Principal Investigator for the NERC/NSF funded RAPID-WATCH programme for sustained observations of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation at 26.5°N. Over several years I have been advocating and proposing basin-wide observations in the subpolar gyre because of the relevance to the UK. I collaborate widely: as a leader or major partner in UK and EU programmes (Thermohaline Overturning at Risk? and North Atlantic Climate Variability); and in international programs interacting with funding and co-ordination agencies (e.g. NSF, NOAA, CLIVAR, OceanObs and the UK MCCIP). I am a contributing author for the International Panel on Climate Change. I provide national and international leadership through the adoption and exploitation of new technology, and through leadership of science programs and the promotion of large-scale observing programmes.

Frequent Journals

  1. Ocean Science

    ISSNs: 1812-0784

    European Geosciences Union

    Scopus rating (2018): CiteScore 2.78 SJR 1.37 SNIP 1.217


  2. Geophysical Research Letters

    ISSNs: 0094-8276


    Scopus rating (2018): CiteScore 4.89 SJR 2.657 SNIP 1.495


  3. Journal of Climate

    ISSNs: 0894-8755

    American Meteorological Society

    Scopus rating (2018): CiteScore 5.28 SJR 3.838 SNIP 1.629


  4. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society

    ISSNs: 1520-0477, 0003-0007

    American Meteorological Society

    Scopus rating (2018): CiteScore 7.15 SJR 4.51 SNIP 2.943


  5. Journal of Physical Oceanography

    ISSNs: 0022-3670, 1520-0485

    American Meteorological Society

    Scopus rating (2018): CiteScore 3.16 SJR 2.48 SNIP 1.341


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