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Ocean/Ice Sheet Modeller BAS 23/173

British Antarctic Survey - Polar Oceans Team

Location: Cambridge
Salary: £37,500 to £41,250 per annum
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 27th November 2023
Closes: 14th January 2024
Job Ref: BAS 23/173
 

Background/Overview

The Antarctic Ice Sheet is losing mass as ice shelves thin and glaciers speed up their flow towards the ocean. However, the models we use to study climate change generally have a highly simplified representation of Antarctica which never changes shape. At BAS we are closely involved in the development of the UK Earth System Model (UKESM), the first global climate model to include a fully coupled dynamic model of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Current versions of the UKESM hold ice shelf calving fronts fixed in time, which prohibits the simulation of ice shelf collapse, such as that observed in the Larsen ice shelves over the last few decades. Ice shelf collapse is expected to become increasingly common with climate change and therefore should be considered in model projections of the next few centuries. 

Purpose:

To investigate the influence of ice-shelf collapse on future sea-level rise from Antarctica, with a particular focus on the Ross Sea sector. The postholder will develop the capability for ice shelf collapse in NEMO-BISICLES and the UK Earth System Model (UKESM), in collaboration with colleagues at BAS, other NERC centres, and the Met Office. They will lead the analysis and publication of sensitivity experiments to quantify the impact of ice shelf collapse on sea level rise projections. In particular, the postholder will assess the potential for rapid ice loss from the Ross Sea sector, which could experience a change in oceanographic regime during the 21st century. 

Duties:

  • Develop the capability for ice shelf collapse in NEMO-BISICLES and the UK Earth System Model (UKESM), in collaboration with colleagues at BAS, other NERC centres, and the Met Office
  • Conduct projections of the coupled ice and climate system, assessing the influence of ice shelf collapse on sea-level rise from the Antarctic Ice Sheet
  • Investigate the potential for oceanographic regime change in the Ross Sea sector, and the likelihood of its triggering of ice shelf collapse.
  • Present model developments and scientific results in the peer-reviewed literature and at conferences
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