PhD Studentship: Orographic Flow Representation in Weather and Climate Models (RENFREWI_U18iNERC)

University of East Anglia - School of: Environmental Sciences

Supervisor: Prof Ian Renfrew

Start Date: October 2018

Project description: Orographic flows are atmospheric flows that are caused or influenced by nearby mountains. Examples include the well-known foehn wind which brings warm dry air over and down mountains; barrier winds which transport air parallel to a mountain range on the upwind side; and tip jets which accelerate winds around the ends of mountain ranges. The societal and environmental impacts of orographic flows are significant and diverse. Strong orographically-forced winds regularly cause damage to property and infrastructure and have implications for air-sea-ice interactions, sea ice distribution, ocean temperature, ocean circulation, avalanches, floods, glacier stability and wild fires.

In this directly-funded NERC Industrial CASE PhD you will investigate orographic flows using numerical model simulations and observations gathered during aircraft-based field campaigns. You will explore the atmospheric response to different mountain flow regimes and assess their representation in weather and climate models. The CASE partner is the Met Office and the student will use the Met Office’s Unified Model (the MetUM): a state-of-the art numerical weather and climate prediction model.

The PhD project will entail simulating a range of orographic flow case studies with the MetUM and examining in detail the representation of the orographic flows with different settings and configurations of the model. The project aims to optimise orographic flow representation and establish generic findings on how best to parameterize certain key physical processes in weather and climate models. Observations of orographic flows will be available from two forthcoming aircraft-based field campaigns (both March 2018): The Iceland Greenland seas Project (IGP) will include research flights around mountains in Iceland and Greenland; while the Met Office-led Measurements of Arctic Clouds, Snow, and Sea Ice nearby the Marginal Ice ZonE (MACSSIMIZE) project includes plans to fly over the Brooks and/or Aleutian Ranges in Alaska.

Person specification: Acceptable first degree: Meteorology, Physics, Mathematics, Oceanography, Earth Sciences, etc. The standard minimum entry requirement is 2:1. 

Funding notes: This NERC Industrial Case studentship is in partnership with The Met Office funded for 4 years.  An annual stipend (in 2017/18 the stipend is £14,553) will be available to the successful candidate who meets the UK Research Council eligibility criteria. These requirements are detailed in the RCUK eligibility guide which can be found at http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/documents/publications/traininggrantguidance-pdf/

In most cases UK and EU nationals who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the course are eligible for a full-award.  Other EU nationals may qualify for a fees only award. 

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Type / Role:

PhD

Location(s):

South East England