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PhD position (B4b)

Radiative interactions at the NWP scale and their impact on midlatitude cyclone predictability

This PhD position contributes to project B4 "Radiative interactions at the NWP scale and their impact on midlatitude cyclone predictability".

Primary supervisor: Prof. Dr. Bernhard Mayer
Other project leader: Dr. Aiko Voigt

The Experimental Meteorology group at the Meteorological Institute (MIM) at LMU Munich offers a PhD position within Phase 2 of the collaborative research center "Waves to Weather" (W2W). The group has a strong focus on cloud-radiation processes and has established a leading international reputation in atmospheric remote sensing, radiative transfer, and cloud-aerosol-radiation interactions.

As one of Europe’s leading research universities, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) in Munich is committed to the highest international standards of excellence in research and teaching. Building on its more than 500-year-long tradition, it offers a broad spectrum that covers all areas of knowledge within its 18 Faculties, ranging from the humanities, law, economics and social sciences, to medicine and the natural sciences.

Diabatic heating by radiation is a main driver of the atmospheric circulation. Radiation is usually highly simplified in atmospheric models. In previous work we have made great progress developing accurate yet fast radiation parameterizations for NWP and cloud resolving models, taking three-dimensional radiative transfer effects into account for the first time. In project B4 of W2W, the PhD student will study three-dimensional radiative effects in the "grey zone" of the ICON-NWP model (resolutions of 1 - 10 km), for which both grid-scale and subgrid-scale effects are important, as shown in the first phase of the project. The grey-zone requires accurate treatments of cloud overlap for subgrid-scale clouds, grid-scale 3D effects, and horizontal gradients of water vapor and temperature at front lines. This work will study at which resolution and under which circumstances radiative effects from sharp spatial contrasts of clouds, water vapor, and temperature are relevant, and how they can be parameterized.


The project is designed as a twin project of LMU (2 PhD positions) and KIT (1 PhD position, supervised by Aiko Voigt). The PhD student in this project will work on a new parameterization of radiation in NWP models, and the related effects on cloud and weather development. There will be a close cooperation between the PhD students at KIT and LMU, developing modules for the ICON model, running the model for a number of cases, and joint and regular discussions about the model results.

The ideal candidate holds a MSc in Meteorology, Physics, or other Geosciences and has already some experience in numerical modeling and model development. Besides very good knowledge of English, experience with programming, e.g. C, Fortran, python, would be an advantage.

The position is initially funded for 3 years with possible extension until June 2023 and should start as soon as possible. It is remunerated according to TV-L E13 (75%). 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.

LMU is an equal opportunity employer. Women are especially encouraged to apply. Applicants with disabilities will be preferentially considered if equally qualified. The successful candidate will work in the city center on Munich and will have access to extensive training and career development activities offered by the LMU.

If you are interested, please apply online here!