The Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) is a member of the Helmholtz Association (HGF) and funded by federal and state government. AWI focuses on polar and marine research in a variety of disciplines such as biology, oceanography, geology, geochemistry and geophysics thus allowing multidisciplinary approaches to scientific goals.

Postdoc "Attribution and Prediction System" (m/w/d)


Arctic amplification leads to the frequent emergence of extreme climate events, such as the Polynya opening up north of Greenland in February 2018 or the extremely low sea ice extent in November 2020. Diagnostic capacities are needed to understand the origin of such events, including anthropogenic climate change, in near real time.

Develop, apply and analyse an attribution and seasonal prediction system in close collaboration with observational and modelling scientists of the Sea Ice Physics and Climate Dynamic sections at AWI. The system will be based on a global configuration with a high-resolution Arctic (O(km)) of the next generation sea ice-ocean model FESOM2 ( The new system will be initialized with remotely sensed and in-situ observations and will be run quasi-operationally, taking into account experienced gained in the Sea Ice Prediction Network SIPN (

Tasks You will

  • set up the model configuration and develop an operational work flow
  • initialize the system with observations of the coupled sea ice-ocean system employing the Parallel Data Assimilation Framework (
  • assess the performance of the attribution system for some recent extreme events and analyse the predictive skill
  • analyse recent high-profile events of scientific and public interest to better understand the governing processes
  • actively disseminate findings to the scientific and public communities (e.g. through


  • PhD in physics, oceanography, meteorology or a related field
  • Excellent programming skills (FORTRAN, python, bash scripting)
  • Experience in numerical modelling
  • Readiness to work in an interdisciplinary team
  • Excellent English language skills, both written and spoken
  • Readiness to participate in sea-going and land expeditions to the Arctic

Further Information

For further information, please contact Dr. Frank Kauker (; +49(471)4831-1804). This is a full-time position, limited to 2,5 years. It is also suitable for part-time employment. The salary will be paid in accordance with the Collective Agreement for the Public Service of the Federation (Tarifvertrag des offentlichen Dienstes, TVoD Bund), up to salary level 13. The place of employment will be Bremerhaven.

Postdocs can register with AWI's postdoc office PROCEED, thereby gaining access to a set of tailor-made career development tools.

The AWI is characterised by

  • our scientific success - excellent research.
  • collaboration and cooperation - intra-institute, national and international, interdisciplinary.
  • opportunities to develop íV on the job, aiming at other positions and beyond AWI.
  • a culture of reconciling work and family íV an audited and well-supported aspect of our operation
  • our outstanding research infrastructure íV ships, stations, aircraft, laboratories and more.
  • an international environment íV everyday contacts with people from all over the world.
  • having an influence íV fundamental research with social and political relevance
  • flat hierarchies íV facilitating freedom and responsibility
  • exciting science topics, with opportunities also in technology, administration and infrastructure

Equal opportunities are an integral part of our personnel policy. The AWI aims to increase the number of female employees and therefore strongly encourages qualified women to apply.

Disabled applicants will be given preference when equal qualifications are present. The AWI fosters the compatibility of work and family in various ways and has received a number of awards as a result of this engagement.

We look forward to your application!

Please forward your application by January 31st 2021 exclusively online.

Reference number 20/167/G/Kli-b

posted: 05 January 2021     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.