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PhD position (A3)

Model error and uncertainty at the midlatitude tropopause

This PhD position contributes to project A3 "Model error and uncertainty at the midlatitude tropopause".

Primary supervisor: Dr. Andreas Schäfler
Other project leaders: Prof. Dr. George Craig and Dr. Martin Weissmann

The department "Lidar" at the DLR Institute of Atmospheric Physics offers a PhD position within Phase 2 of the collaborative research center "Waves to Weather" (W2W). The Lidar group develops ground-based, airborne and space-borne lidar systems and applies them for active remote sensing of key meteorological parameters and atmospheric trace gases to facilitate research in weather and climate as well as in air traffic safety. One of the fields of research is the application of airborne and space-borne lidar observations to study atmospheric dynamics, to identify gaps in our observation system and to demonstrate the relevance of these new observation types. The Institute of Atmospheric Physics investigates the physics and chemistry of the global atmosphere from the Earth's surface up to the upper boundary of the middle atmosphere at about 120 km height. As an institute of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) we answer questions associated with atmospheric processes and with relevance to the research programmes "Aeronautics, Space, and Transportation" and "Energy" of the Helmholtz Association (HGF).

Prediction of the daily weather in mid-latitudes depends on correctly predicting the thermodynamic and dynamic structure of the tropopause and the Rossby waves that propagate along it. Recently, measurements have shown significant errors in NWP models with respect to the strong gradients in wind, temperature and moisture that are found at the tropopause. Lidar and dropsonde profile observations taken during the North Atlantic Waveguide and Downstream Impact Experiment (NAWDEX) provide a unique opportunity to investigate the representation of the tropopause in NWP models and study the impact on forecast error growth in the mid-latitudes in a combined approach using campaign data and ensemble methods.

In project A3, observations will be compared with model fields to quantify analysis errors and to obtain a coherent view of their distribution near the tropopause. This work will build on our previous analysis of NAWDEX measurements that identified errors in wind fields in current NWP systems. Additionally, data assimilation output from the ECMWF ensemble data assimilation system will be used to investigate the impact of individual NAWDEX observations on the tropopause structure. This will include comparing analyses and forecasts created with and without NAWDEX observations. In collaboration with visualization colleagues, the temporal and spatial evolution of tropopause sharpness will be studied. Finally, we will apply ensemble sensitivity analysis (ESA) in the ECMWF ensemble system to study the role of the diagnosed analysis uncertainties for the downstream weather evolution and to investigate how physical processes impact the tropopause structure.

The ideal candidate holds a MSc in Meteorology, Physics, or other Geosciences and has already some experience in the analysis of observational data and/or NWP data analysis and diagnostics. Besides very good knowledge of English, experience with Unix, and statistical/visualisation software (e.g. python, IDL, MATLAB) would be an advantage.

The position is remunerated according to TVöD E13 (up to 75%), it is offered for 3 years with possible extension until June 2023 and should start as soon as possible. Applicants are asked to specify their desired starting date and to give the contact details of two academic referees.

W2W features an innovative program for the development of early career researchers based on selfgovernment. In addition to self-organized activities such as workshops, trainings and a guest program, the successful candidate will have the opportunity, if desired, to pursue an international research visit of at least one week. The consortium conducts an ambitious program to gradually enhance gender equality on all career levels within the academic fields combined in W2W.

Look forward to a fulfilling job with an employer who appreciates your commitment and supports your personal and professional development. Our unique infrastructure offers you a working environment in which you have unparalled scope to develop your creative ideas and accomplish your professional objectives. Our human resources policy places great value on a healthy family and work-life-balance as well as equal opportunities for persons of all genders (m/f/non-binary). Individuals with disabilities will be given preferential consideration in the event their qualifications are equivalent to those of other candidates.

If you are interested, please apply online here!


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