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Postdoctoral Researcher – UrbaNE: Urban Numerical Weather Prediction Expedited

University of Reading - School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences

Location: Reading
Salary: £33,966 to £44,263 Grade 6, per annum
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 26th January 2024
Closes: 26th February 2024
Job Ref: SRF46555
 

To undertake research within the URBANE (Urban Numerical Weather Prediction Expedited) project.

This role is funded by the research programme on Advancing the Frontiers of Earth System Prediction (AFESP) - a £30 million 15-year investment by the University of Reading, in partnership with the European Centre for Medium-Range Forecasts (ECMWF), the UK Met Office and the National Centre for Atmospheric Science. AFESP will deliver sustained investments to tackle some of the far-term (10–15 year) and difficult (high-risk, high-reward) research challenges in global Earth System prediction. URBANE contributes to the overall goals of the AFESP programme, primarily in the theme of Challenges and opportunities in simulating the Earth System at the kilometre-scale

By enhancing our capabilities in global data assimilation, simulation and analysis, AFESP will deliver a new class of accurate, reliable and usable forecasts, aiming to re-define the medium-range predictability limit from two to at least four weeks, enabling a wide range of new scientific and societal applications. Within that, the URBANE project focuses on services and forecasts for people and infrastructure in urban environments. This is important to improve services that support health, infrastructure risk, and climate-change resilience. The project will support both ECMWF and Met Office in their drives towards representing urban environments better and at appropriate scales within numerical weather prediction (NWP). The key contribution will be evaluating urban NWP with observations, particularly taking better advantage of high resolution thermal remote sensing (RS), field campaign data and radiative transfer modelling. 

Full time, fixed term post for 5 years.

Interview date w/c 18/03/2024

Main duties and responsibilities 

Working with ECMWF, Met Office, NCEO (National Centre for Earth Observation), ERC urbisphere and NERC ASSURE researchers the candidate will:  

  • Scope and gather the best data from RS and ground-based data sources, considering site characteristics (e.g. urban form) and resolution.
  • Develop detailed understanding of what NWP model state variables (e.g. temperatures) & parameters (e.g. emissivities) represent in space and time in comparison to observed quantities.
  • Prepare, quality-assure and preprocess observations for use in model evaluation; including source area/field of view analysis.
  • Work with radiative transfer models of high and intermediate complexity (DART and SPARTACUS-surface) and develop modules for simple representation of urban surfaces in terms of NWP variables/parameters for the fast model RTTOV.
  • With support from NWP-centre collaborators (i) assess NWP model components to be evaluated against observations and (ii) coordinate NWP model runs (e.g. IFS, UM100) matched to observational campaigns/scenes
  • Undertake model – observation comparisons using prepared observations and the full hierarchy of radiative transfer models across different scales (localised to cities globally), interpret the evaluation results, identify implications and suggest improvements (model, observation preparation).
  • Propose improvements for models and where appropriate contribute to the NWP-centre led developments.
  • Publish high quality peer review papers, give conference presentations, prepare articles in the international community newsletters (e.g. IAUC newsletters); participate in institutional and cross-projects workshops

Information on further research posts on the working on the Advancing the Frontiers of Earth System Prediction (AFESP) research programme available here

Informal contact details

Contact role: Professor of Urban Meteorology

Contact name: Professor Sue Grimmond

Contact email: c.s.grimmond@reading.ac.uk

Alternative informal contact details

Contact role:

Professor of Climate System Science & Climate Hazards and Director of University of Reading - ECMWF Research Collaboration

Contact name: Professor Pier Luigi Vidale

Contact email: p.l.vidale@reading.ac.uk

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