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Postdoctoral Researcher – The ECMWF Land Surface Hydrology Foundation Model (ECFoundLand)

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: SRF46556
 

Machine learning for weather and climate modelling is moving at a breath-taking pace. We are seeking exceptional individuals to undertake research into the development of machine learning based Earth System modelling approaches. Specifically this is your opportunity to revolutionise the approach of existing Earth System models in representing land surface hydrology and its feedbacks to the atmosphere, particularly at the extended range, and in providing accurate and reliable predictions of hydrological conditions and extremes such as floods.

This role is funded by the research programme on Advancing the Frontiers of Earth System Prediction (AFESP) - a £30million 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. It 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. 

By enhancing our capabilities in earth system modelling, the research programme 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. 

Full time, fixed term post for 5 years.

Interview date w/c 18/03/2024

Main duties and responsibilities 

Undertake collaborative research and make significant contributions to the following activities:  

  • Research that leverages the power of machine learning to improve the ECMWF Earth System Modelling approach. Specifically, to develop and test a novel hydrology-informed global foundation model for land surface hydrology and evaluate conceptual and scientific soundness using explainable AI techniques.
  • Develop and evaluate fine-tuned models for land surface-atmosphere feedbacks at the extended range/S2S and fine-tuned models for forecasting floods at different spatial scales and lead times.
  • Explore the potential of using these techniques to improve process representation, parameterisation and optimisation in ECMWF’s land surface model, ECLand and to explore the potential of adding a land surface hydrology foundation model to larger foundation models in weather and climate.
  • Actively engage with the latest ML/AI techniques and apply them to earth system forecasting.
  • Attend, contribute to, and organise relevant project meetings.
  • Report on progress and results of the research through appropriate methods, including papers for submission to scientific journals, presentation of results at conferences and workshops, etc.
  • Maintain awareness of current progress in relevant research areas to ensure that the research remains at the cutting edge.
  • Liaise with collaborators from other parts of the programme on a regular basis, including travel to visit project partners as required.

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 Hydrology

Contact name: Professor Hannah Cloke

Contact email: h.l.cloke@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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