Dr Rob Hall (School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia)
Dr Lars Boehme (Sea Mammal Research Unit, Scottish Oceans Institute, University of St Andrews)
Professor Yoshihiro Nakayama (Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University)
Seawater can be freshened by addition of melted ice or precipitation, influencing ocean circulation. To estimate future changes to this circulation and thus climate, it is important that we understand the fresh water budget and its impacts. In Antarctic shelf seas, the sources of fresh water (melting of the Antarctic ice sheet, sea ice melt, and local precipitation) are poorly quantified. This project aims to quantify and assess the variability of the fresh water budget of the Amundsen Sea, Antarctica. This is a region where large ice shelves are losing mass rapidly, contributing to global sea level rise.
You will exploit two exciting new data sets to assess the fresh water budget. The first is temperature and salinity from several years of sensors glued to the fur of seals through the TARSAN project, with which you will be associated. The second is output from state-of-the-art, high-resolution models run by Japanese collaborators, who will join your supervisory team. You will determine the different sources of fresh water added to the model Amundsen Sea. You will use in situ observations to calculate seasonal and interannual changes in fresh water, and compare these with estimates of sea ice production/melt, ice shelf melt and atmospheric input. You will determine the relative importance of the different sources of fresh water, thus providing critical information to improve climate models.
You will have the opportunity to participate in a research cruise to the Amundsen Sea in 2021/2022 and to deploy and pilot ocean gliders during UEA Glider Group field campaigns. You will collaborate with leading UK and international oceanographers and glaciologists as part of the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration. You will gain valuable experience in observational oceanography, and be trained in numerical modelling and advanced methods for data processing, analysis and visualisation.
You should have a physical science degree (e.g. oceanography, meteorology, physics, environmental sciences, natural sciences, engineering, mathematics). A background in ocean science is not required, but experience with a computer programming language (e.g. Matlab, Python) will be an advantage. This project is suitable for candidates from numerical disciplines.