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 one of the world’s leading atmospheric science institutes?
You will become a key team member of the M-Phase project “Resolving climate sensitivity associated with shallow mixed phase cloud in the oceanic mid- to high-latitudes”. 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.
In this position you will work closely with experimentalists to define new sources of atmospheric ice-nucleating particles (INP), which you will then represent in the UK’s regional and global climate models. There is emerging evidence that there are important ice-nucleating particle sources across the mid- and high-latitude terrestrial environment that are not currently represented in models. You will then work closely with the cloud modelling team who will use the improved models of INP to simulate the formation of ice and its effects on climate. In M-Phase we have now run an aircraft campaign flying north of Scandinavia, a ship campaign in the Labrador Sea and are planning another aircraft study of aerosol and cloud over the Labrador Sea this coming autumn. Hence, you will be in an excellent position to exploit several unique datasets alongside M-Phase staff and aligned PhD students. Finally, you will consider how INP may change in the future in response to changes in climate.
Our existing model includes a description of low latitude desert dust (Vergara-Temprado et al.
2017), but we know that we are missing mid-high latitude sources (e.g. Sanchez-Marroquin et al.
2020). We also know that the INP concentration is of first order importance for cloud albedo (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; Murray et al.
2021). 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.
To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact:
Professor Ken Carslaw, Lead on Global Aerosol Modelling
Tel: +44 (0)113 343 1597
Professor Stephen Arnold, Lead on Source Apportionment Modelling
Tel: +44 (0)113 343 7245
Professor Benjamin Murray, M-Phase Principle Investigator
Tel: +44 (0)113 3432887