Within the project "Influence of small-scale processes on the dynamics of the coupled atmosphere-cryosphere-ocean system on daily to seasonal timescales in the region of Adélie Land, Antarctica" funded by the Belgian Fund for Scientific Research - FNRS, the Georges Lemaître Centre for Earth and Climate Research (www.uclouvain.be/teclim) of the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium is seeking a PhD student for 4 years.
The overall objective of this project, which will be carried out in close collaboration with the Laboratory of Climatology of the Université de Liège (ULg) and several research institutes based in France, is to quantify the influence of small-scale processes on the dynamics of the coupled atmosphere-cryosphere-ocean system on daily-to-seasonal timescales in the Antarctic region. To reach this goal, a high-resolution coupled atmosphere-cryosphere-ocean model will be developed and applied to the Adélie Land area. The model will consist of the regional climate model MAR (Modèle Atmosphérique Régional) running at a 4-km horizontal resolution coupled to an updated version of the sea ice-ocean model NEMO-LIM3 (Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean - Louvain-la-Neuve sea ice model, version 3) with a 2-km horizontal resolution. Several simulations will be performed over two seasonal cycles to evaluate the impacts of the high spatial and temporal resolution, explicit treatment of small-scale processes usually neglected or highly parameterized in global climate models (polar cloud microphysics, blowing snow, ocean tides, ice shelf-ocean interactions, ocean mixing/convection, landfast sea ice, and sea ice rheology), and coupling on the sea ice characteristics (including coastal polynyas), the air-ice-ocean interactions and the surface mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet. The effect of initial conditions on the model prediction skill will also be assessed, as a first step towards the application of the model to operational purposes. All this work will be conducted within the World Weather Research Programme Year of Polar Prediction (www.polarprediction.net/yopp.html).
We envisage four main tasks for the UCL PhD student:
NEMO-LIM3 set-up and validation in the Adélie Land region; coupling of MAR with NEMO-LIM3 and coupled model validation (to be performed in collaboration with the ULg PhD student); study of the effects of small-scale sea ice and ocean processes on the coupled system dynamics; study of the influence of initial conditions on the coupled model prediction skill (to be performed in collaboration with the ULg PhD student).
We are looking for candidates who hold a Master degree (5 years) in physical climatology, oceanography or glaciology and have some expertise in numerical modelling.
The PhD position is for 4 years, starting on October 1st, 2016, with a net monthly salary of about 1850 EUR. This includes social insurances.