Dr Tim Trent

NCEO Research Fellow


I am currently a research fellow working within the National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO) based at the University of Leicester. In addition to my research role I also co-chair the international GEWEX Water Vapor Assessment (G-VAP) working group. Output from this group features in the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). To date most of my research focuses on the moisture in our atmosphere but I also have experience working with surface temperatures aerosol trace gases and night-time light data. Before receiving my fellowship from the European Space Agency (ESA) I worked on many projects revolving around satellite remote sensing to the Earth's surface and atmosphere over decadal time scales. As part of my PhD I also produced characterised ground-based reference datasets and applied them to validation activities. I also have experience developing algorithms used to retrieve water vapour from the shortwave and thermal infrared satellite instruments.


My current research interests focus on moisture pathways within our atmosphere and how they've changed in recent decades. Within my fellowship I have been investigating how turnover time the time between evaporation and precipitation is represented in climate models modern reanalysis and state-of-the-art satellite observations. I am also developing new datasets of stable water vapour isotopologues from satellites with greater sensitivity to moisture near Earth's surface to support this work. Pairs of water isotopologues provide information that can be used to diagnose moisture pathways or constrain models. Other research has focused on climate data records of atmospheric moisture and evaluating their performance.


(0) Gutenstein, M., Fennig, K., Schr ̈oder, M., Trent, T., Bakan, S., Roberts, J.B. and Robertson, F.R., 2020. Intercomparison of freshwater fluxes over ocean and investigations into water budget closure. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions, pp.1-35.

Rayner, N. A., Auchmann, R., Bessembinder, J., Br ̈onnimann, S., Brugnara, Y., Capponi, F., Carrea, L., Dodd, E. M. A., Ghent, D., Good, E.,Høyer, J. L., Kennedy, J. J., Kent, E. C., Killick, R. E., van der Linden, P., Lindgren, F., Madsen, K. S., Merchant, C. J., Mitchelson, J. R.,Morice, C. P., Nielsen-Englyst, P., Ortiz, P. F., Remedios, J. J., van der Schrier, G., Squintu, A. A., Stephens, A., Thorne, P. W., Tonboe,65R. T., Trent, T., Veal, K. L., Waterfall, A. M., Winfield, K., Winn, J., and Woolway, R. I.: The EU-
STACE project: delivering global, daily information on surface air temperature, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, pp. 1-79,,, 2020.

Ghent, D., Veal, K., Trent, T., Dodd, E., Sembhi, H. and Remedios, J., 2019. A New Approach to Defining Uncertainties for MODIS Land Surface Temperature. Remote Sensing, 11(9), p.1021.

Schroeder, M., Lockhoff, M., Shi, L., August, T., Bennartz, R., Brogniez, H., Calbet, X., Fell, F., Forsythe, J., Gambacorta, A., Ho, S.-P., Kursinski, E.R., Reale, A., Trent, T., Yang, Q. The GEWEX Water Vapor Assessment: Overview and Introduction to Results and Recommendations. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 251.

Trent, T., Schroeder, M. and Remedios, J., 2019. GEWEX Water Vapor Assessment: Validation of AIRS Tropospheric Humidity Profiles With Characterized Radiosonde Soundings.Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 124(2), pp.886-906.

Trent, T., Boesch, H., Somkuti, P. and Scott, NA.: Observing Water Vapour in the Planetary Boundary Layer from the Short-Wave Infrared. Remote Sensing. 2018 Sep14;10(9):1469.

Schroeder, M., Lockhoff, M., Fell, F., Forsythe, J., Trent, T., Bennartz, R., Borbas, E., Bosilovich, M.G., Castelli, E., Hersbach, H. and Kachi, M.: The GEWEX Water Vapor Assessment archive of water vapour products from satellite observations and reanalyses. Earth System Science Data, 10(2), pp.1093-1117., 2018.

Calbert, X., Peinado-Galan N., Ripodas P., Trent T., and Dirksen D., Sommer M.:Consistency between GRUAN sondes, LBLRTM and IASI. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 10(6), p.2323, 2017.

Muller C. L., Roberts, S., Wilson, R. C., Remedios, J. J.,Illingworth, S., Graves, R., Trent, T., Henderson, J., Wilkinson, J., Wilkinson, M., Desai, A., The Blue Marble: a model for primary school STEM outreach, Phys. Educ. 48 176 doi:10.1088/0031-9120/48/2/176, 2013.

Sembhi, H., Remedios, J., Trent, T., Moore, D. P., Spang, R., Massie, S., and Vernier, J.-P.: MIPAS detection of cloud and aerosol particle occurrence in the UTLS with comparison to HIRDLS and CALIOP, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 5, 2537-2553, doi:10.5194/amt-5-2537-2012, 2012.


I am happy to discuss supervision with students interested in atmospheric moisture pathways remote sensing and climate. For example I have worked with students on long-term records of upper tropospheric humidity (UTH) from geostationary satellites and the influences of tropical cyclones on water vapour distributions over China.


I currently contribute to teaching for modules PA4440 (literature review project) and PA4900 (fourth-year research projects). I also have run projects through the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) programme.

Press and media

water vapour climate remote sensing


I am a member and co-chair of the international Global Energy and Water Exchanges (GEWEX) water vapour assessment (G-VAP) which reports on satellite and reanalysis dataset performance for the World Climate Research Programme (WRCP). This work on global climate representation of climate has focused on the quality and performance of freely available water vapour records. I am also a work package leader in the current ESA Water Vapour Climate Change Initiative (WV_cci). I developed state-of-the-art validation tools for assessing satellite products with in situ measurements in this role. Additionally the international collaborations formed through G-VAP led me to be invited as a visiting scientist at EUMETSAT (European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites) in Germany on two separate occasions in 2015 2016. Within the UK I am part of the NERC NCEO and through this network I have become active within the UK Met Office Academic Partnership (MOAP) working with colleagues from the UK Met Office and the University of Reading.
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