Research Associate in Drivers and Attribution of Antarctic Extreme Weather Events

Job Description

We have an exciting opportunity in the Department of Geography at The University of Sheffield (TUoS). The position is funded through the NERC highlight topic project PICANTE (Processes, Impacts, and Changes of ANTarctic Extreme weather’), led by Dr Julie Jones in the Department of Geography at TUoS, involving a number of partner institutions.

The PICANTE project aims to transform understanding of the characteristics and drivers of Antarctic extreme weather events (AEWEs), disentangle the roles of human influence and natural climate variability in changes to AEWE and their drivers, and to to predict future events and their impacts on Antarctic climate and ice. AEWEs have global implications, through potential detrimental impacts on ice shelf stability, leading to ice mass loss and global sea level rise. Obtaining improved projections of how AEWEs and their knock-on impacts on Antarctic climate and ice may be affected by climate change is hence crucially important.

As part of this project you will use reanalysis and satellite data, apply standard statistical methods in combination with machine learning based methods to understand the large-scale and/or remote meteorological drivers of AEWEs. You will work closely with the project team to advance the understanding of the relative contributions of the chain of drivers of these events across different scales, and apply these understanding to assess the performance of state-of-the-art CMIP6 GCMs to capture these drivers. Using novel applications of event attribution framework you will undertake attribution studies of selected AEWEs to decipher the roles of natural and human forcings, and explore the thermodynamic vs. dynamic contributions to the changes of these events under different warming scenarios using large ensembles.

You should hold a PhD (or be close to completion) in a closely related area, with strong expertise and high skills in analysing large datasets (such as climate model outputs), detection and attribution, and climate model evaluation. You will join an interdisciplinary team, and work in a world-leading team of scientists from the Universities of Sheffield, Lancaster, Lincoln, Exeter, Imperial College, the British Antarctic Survey and the UK Met Office.

At the Department of Geography at TuOS, as one of the oldest and largest Geography departments in the UK, we provide a vibrant and collegial intellectual environment, opportunities for mentorship and collaboration, and unique support for policy and public engagement. We value diversity and we are committed to recognizing the important intellectual contributions that all of our scholars make.

We’re one of the best not-for-profit organisations to work for in the UK. We build teams of people from different heritages and lifestyles from across the world, whose talent and contributions complement each other to greatest effect. We believe diversity in all its forms delivers greater impact through research, teaching and student experience.

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