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PhD position (C8b)

Stratospheric influence on tropospheric large-scale circulation patterns

This PhD position contributes to project C8 "Stratospheric influence on predictability of persistent weather patterns".

Primary supervisor: Junior-Prof. Dr. Hella Garny
Other project leaders: Prof Dr. Thomas Birner and Prof. Dr. Joaquim Pinto

The department "Earth System Modelling" at the DLR Institute of Atmospheric Physics offers a PhD position within Phase 2 of the collaborative research center "Waves to Weather" (W2W). The position will be situated within the research group for Middle Atmosphere Dynamics. 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).

Weather prediction on sub-seasonal time scales (10-30 days) is one of the most challenging issues in modern weather forecasting. During wintertime, stratospheric extreme events such as sudden stratospheric warmings are one of the key potential sources of predictability on this time scale. In project C8 of W2W, we aim to provide new insights into how stratospheric events influence predictability of persistent tropospheric weather patterns that lead to extreme events, such as the cold spell in March 2018. C8 is a joint project between DLR (project leader: H. Garny), KIT (project leader: J. Pinto) and LMU (project leader: T. Birner), and includes additionally one PostDoc position at LMU and one PhD position at KIT.

The main objective of the PhD position at DLR is the investigation of the predictability of the downward influence of stratospheric extreme events. Sudden stratospheric warmings (i.e. sudden reversals of the strong winds of the stratospheric polar vortex) occur about every other winter season, and typically are succeeded by tropospheric flow anomalies that can lead to cold spells over Europe. This typical downward influence is observed in some years (e.g. in March 2018), but not in others (e.g. following the sudden warming in winter 2019). Furthermore, it is not straightforward to attribute the tropospheric flow anomaly and its predictability to the preceding stratospheric event. The main research question the successful applicant will work on is the detailed investigation of the stratospheric downward influence and its sensitivity on the characteristics of a specific stratospheric event. The research question will be tackled by means of case studies based on existing extended-range ensemble forecast data and the conduction of global model simulations.

The ideal candidate holds an MSc in Meteorology, Physics, or a related field and has already some experience in numerical modelling and in the analysis of large data sets. Besides very good knowledge of English, experience with Fortran, Unix, and statistics/visualisation software 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 self-government. 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!