Research Fellow in Climate Modelling

University of Leeds

Leeds, United Kingdom

ID: 7086771 (Ref.No. ENVEE1500)
Posted: October 8, 2021

Job Description

Would you like to help to address one of the biggest uncertainties in climate projections, do you have an established background in clouds and aerosol research and do you want to further your career in a one of the world’s leading atmospheric science institutes?

You will become a key team member of the “Resolving climate sensitivity associated with shallow mixed phase cloud in the oceanic mid- to high-latitudes (M-Phase)” project. Shallow mixed phase clouds are a critical, but poorly understood part of the climate system. M-Phase aims to address this deficit through a combination of lab, field and modelling work. It is a major £3 Million project funded by NERC with multiple partners including the University of Manchester and the UK Met Office.  M-Phase is part of the broader NERC ‘Uncertainty in Climate Sensitivity due to Clouds programme’.

The overarching objective of M-Phase is to reduce the uncertainty in how mixed-phase clouds will respond to changes in climate, and thereby reduce uncertainty in climate sensitivity. We will do this by improving our understanding of the physical processes that determine the properties of mixed-phase clouds and their response to climate drivers (sea-surface temperatures and aerosols).

You will build on a previous work where we demonstrated that shallow clouds are extremely sensitive to INP concentrations (Vergara-Temprado et al., 2018), with high INP leading to low amounts of supercooled water and lower albedo.  In a warmer future world, these clouds will contain less ice and will therefore be more reflective, which represents a strong negative climate feedback (Storelvmo et al. 2015). It has been shown that improving the representation of ice in clouds increases the equilibrium climate sensitivity (the amount the planet will warm with a doubling of CO2) by 2 K (Tan et al., 2016).  Hence, the present day INP concentration directly impacts the extent to which our planet will warm and the work you will do within M-Phase will therefore be critically important.

You will explore these mixed-phase systems with the most realistic weather forecast tools currently available using spatial resolutions of <1km and domains ~3000km, allowing cloud-scale dynamics, cloud production and cloud dissipation to be accurately modelled. The high resolution model will use the CASIM (Cloud AeroSol Interacting Microphysics) scheme that predicts both mass and number concentration for hydrometeor species which allows for two-way interaction with aerosols to activate liquid droplets and ice crystals and reintroduce the aerosols back into the environment on evaporation. The high resolution model (with identical underlying atmospheric physics to the lower resolution model climate model) will be initialised using meteorological and dynamical observations and will therefore replicate the weather conditions. We will compare the high-resolution models against the more heavily parameterised climate models to understand and improve how mixed-phase clouds are simulated.

To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact:

Paul Field, Professor of Climate Science

Email: P.Field@leeds.ac.uk 

Ken Carlsaw, Professor

Tel: +44 (0)113 343 1597

Email: K.S.Carslaw@leeds.ac.uk

Benjamin Murray, Professor of Atmospheric Science

Tel: +44 (0)113 343 2887

Email: B.J.Murray@leeds.ac.uk


Location:  Leeds - Main Campus
Faculty/Service:  Faculty of Environment
School/Institute:  School of Earth and Environment
Category:  Research
Grade:  Grade 7
Salary:  £34,304 to £40,927 p.a.
Working Time:  100% - We will consider job share / flexible working arrangements
Post Type:  Full Time
Contract Type:  Fixed Term (until 31 January 2024 – due to external funding)
Release Date:  Thursday 07 October 2021
Closing Date:  Thursday 18 November 2021
Reference:  ENVEE1500


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