[Met-jobs] DPhil (PhD) studentship in the Climate Processes Group, University of Oxford

The Sub-Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic & Planetary Physics (AOPP) at the University of Oxford has the following 4-year NERC/Met Office CASE studentship available for October 2016:

Disentangling aerosol effects on shallow convection from meteorological co-variability

Clouds play a key role in the earth system. Shallow convection is by far the most frequent global cloud regime yet its representation in global weather and climate models remains incomplete. It is crucial to improve their representation in global
weather and climate models to correctly represent the response to anthropogenic perturbations.

While aerosol effects on shallow convection have been suggested from theory, modelling and observations, they remain highly uncertain. Not even the sign of the response to increased levels of cloud condensation nuclei is clear: both an increase
in cloud abundance due to reduction in precipitation efficiency as well as a decrease in cloud abundance due to enhancement of evaporation associated with smaller droplets have been reported.

This project has the objective to disentangle aerosol effects on shallow convection from the meteorological co-variability inherent in observational studies. It builds on novel capabilities of the high-resolution set-up of the UK Met Office Unified
Model with the Cloud AeroSol Interacting Microphysics (CASIM) cloud microphysics and UKCA aerosol microphysics making it possible for the student to:

Accurately simulate aerosol-cloud interactions in large domains (~1000km)

Anchor these simulations with long-term observations of cloud and aerosol properties around the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology’s Barbados observatory

Disentangle aerosol-cloud co-variability from physical effects and understand the dominant physics in different cloud-aerosol regimes using realistic and idealised case studies

Determine impact of aerosol-cloud interactions on weather forecasting performance and propose a practical framework for parameterising aerosol-cloud interactions in coarse scale models.

This studentship is a joint CASE studentship with supervisors Professor Philip Stier (Climate Processes Group in
the Department of Physics at the University of Oxford) and Professor Paul Field (UK Met Office) in cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (Germany).  It benefits from the combination of academic and professional supervision and the experience
and world leading expertise of the Met Office in the development and evaluation of cloud representations in numerical models as well as from access to the excellent facilities provided by the Met Office (training, HPC, storage, support, code integration).
In addition, it is anticipated that the student will spend a research sojourn at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology.

The studentship will be affiliated with the Physical Climate Stream of the Oxford
Doctoral Training Partnership in Environmental Research, providing an outstanding training environment in a year-group of 30 students.

The application deadline is 29 April 2016, with interviews on 16 May.  

Informal enquiries to Professor Philip Stier.  Full application and eligibility information is here.

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