Member Profile

Zebedee Nicholls

PhD Student

University of Melbourne


Zebedee started his PhD at the University of Melbourne’s Australian-German Climate and Energy College in November 2016. Before coming home to Melbourne, he completed his undergraduate Masters course in Physics at St.John’s College, University of Oxford. There he specialised in Atmospheric and Biological Physics and completed his Masters project under the supervision of Professor Myles Allen. His Masters thesis focussed on building a simple integrated assessment model to analyse factors which influence how much an economically rational decision maker might choose to emit and hence warm the Earth. ​To contribute to discussions on future emissions pathways, he is interested in contributing to the next development cycle of the MAGICC model as well as the on-going development of the FAIR model.

THESIS: Use of simple climate models in carbon budget calculations

Zebedee's topic revolves around the development and use of two simple climate models – the MAGICC and FaIR models. He applies these models for multiple studies but focusses primarily on remaining carbon budget calculations i.e. how much carbon dioxide we can release into the atmosphere and still limit global-mean warming to a specific level. The two models are both computationally inexpensive and allow us to explore a much wider range of future scenarios than can be done with more comprehensive models. As they are often used in integrated assessment, simple climate models are also key to determining possible future emissions pathways, which informs Australian and global climate projections.