University of East Anglia -School of Environmental Sciences
Deadline: 6th January 2014.
Supervisor: Prof David Stevens D.Stevens@uea.ac.uk
The underlying ocean warming trend associated with anthropogenic climate change is superimposed upon natural variability of the climate system on interannual to multi-decadal timescales and between regions. The result is that, even with a long-term ‘anthropogenic’ warming trend, in different regions there will be some decades in the future that will show particularly strong warming while others will exhibit little change or even cooling. This shorter timescale climate change over seasons to decades is particularly relevant to marine policy makers and managers at national and international level.
In recent years studies examining both coupled atmosphere-ocean models and empirical statistical models have begun to demonstrate the potential for skillful climate predictions on decadal time scales particularly in the North Atlantic region associated with the Atlantic Meridional Oscillation (AMO). Furthermore, it has recently been shown that the AMO is an important contributor to ecosystem change in the seas around UK and Ireland. Whilst remaining a number of years away the combination of improved understanding of the influence of Atlantic variability on UK marine ecosystems together with short term ‘climate’ predictions presents the possibility of ecosystem forecasts on seasonal to decadal timescales becoming part of national and international marine management.
The main aim of the project is to use the output from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) decadal forecast programme to answer the following key questions:
(i) Are elements of the marine climate (for example, temperature, salinity, wind) predictable on the time scales and space scales relevant to marine policy makers and managers?
(ii) What are the uncertainties and causes of any predictability?
(iii) What types of seasonal to decadal forecast methods are most appropriate for different marine users on different timescales?
We seek an enthusiastic student with strong scientific interests and self-motivation to join an active research team. You must have or expect to obtain a good honours degree in mathematics, physics, meteorology, oceanography, climate science or other numerate subject. Experience of programming (e.g., Matlab, FORTRAN) is an advantage. You do not need to have studied meteorology, oceanography or climate science previously, as training will be provided.
This project has been shortlisted for funding by the newly-created ENV East Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) – a collaboration led by the University of East Anglia, with the Universities of Essex and Kent, and twenty other partners. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed as part of the Studentship Competition. The interview dates will be 14th and 15th February 2014 at one of the three Universities listed above.
First degree (2.1) in a relevant subject such as mathematics, physics, meteorology, oceanography, climate science or other numerate subject.
Due to funding restrictions funding for PhD studentships from NERC is available to successful candidates who meet the UK Research Council eligibility criteria. These requirements are detailed in the NERC studentships handbook (http://www.nerc.ac.uk/funding/application/studentships). All candidates should check the NERC eligibility guidelines to confirm their eligibility for funding.
The current stipend for 2013/14 is £13,726 per annum.
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