PhD-Position in Paleoclimate Modelling

The climate of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM around 24,000 ? 18,000 BP) is of specific research interest as complex feedback processes between the atmosphere, land surface and the ocean took place under boundary conditions different from today. Northern America and Eurasia were covered by large ice shields and the sea level was about 130 m lower. It is generally assumed that the global climate was drier and colder than today. Regional field experiments in Southern Africa, however, show that a huge lake existed in the Kalahari desert during the LGM. On the other hand, almost no glaciers formed in the Lesotho highland. These regional climate conditions are in contrast to the global mean climate scenario during the LGM. The interesting research questions are: What were the specific regional climate conditions in Southern Africa during the LGM and which processes were responsible for the regional climate response to the LGM? These questions will be addressed in an interdisciplinary project of the Institutes of Meteorology, Geological Sciences and Geographic Sciences at the Freie Universität Berlin.

The successful applicant will perform and analyze model simulations with the global chemistry-climate model EMAC for different time periods (LGM, preindustrial, and 20th century). The comparison of the simulations will allow us to identify climate changes from the global to the regional scale and to study the driving mechanisms.

The analyses will, for instance, address a potential shift of climate zones over Africa during the LGM. Potential drivers for regional climate change in Southern Africa, such as an extension of Antarctic shelf ice, changes in the warm Agulhas (Indic) and cold Benguela (Atlantic) ocean currents or the ocean upwelling near the coast of Namibia will be investigated. To simulate regional phenomena, in particular the existence of a large lake in the Kalahari desert, a downscaling approach will be applied by employing a specific EMAC version coupled to the COSMO-CLM regional model.

Requirements: M.Sc. or Diploma in Atmospheric Science or a related discipline (e.g. Physics, Oceanography)

Further qualifications: The applicant is expected to have experience in atmospheric dynamics, climatology, and/or oceanography, as well as in numerical modelling and handling of big datasets. He/she should also be interested in proxy-based paleoclimate research. Very good skills in scientific programming (e.g. Fortran, C, Python, R, Matlab, GrADs, IDL) are required, as well as fluent English and the ability and interest to work in an interdisciplinary team.

Payment: Vgr. 13 TV-L FU (50%)

Duration of position: 4 years

Applications (including a cover letter, a curriculum vitae and copies of scientific degrees) should be sent by November 23, 2020 quoting the position code IfM/2020/PaläoPhD to:

Freie Universität Berlin
Institut für Meteorologie
Arbeitsbereich Atmosphärendynamik
Frau Prof. Dr. Ulrike Langematz
Carl-Heinrich-Becker-Weg 6-10
12165 Berlin

posted: 11 November 2020     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.