Arctic atmospheric ozone depletion events and bromine explosions


Arctic atmospheric ozone depletion events and bromine explosions


Project Description


Professor Jan Kaiser, University of East Anglia – Contact me

Dr Markus Frey, British Antarctic Survey

Professor Alex Baker, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia

Professor Peer Nowack, Institute of Theoretical Informatics, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (also: Honorary Lecturer, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia)

Background & Objectives

Global warming has led to large reductions in polar sea-ice over the past 45 years. Substantial parts of the ocean that used to be covered by multi-year sea ice in summer are now open, releasing primary aerosol through waves and bubble bursting. Also, gas exchange is significantly faster and algal blooms increase production of gases and aerosol particles. The gases and particles released are important for atmospheric chemistry and climate.

So-called “ozone depletion events” (ODEs) are frequent spring-time phenomena in the polar lower atmosphere. During ODEs, bromide from sea ice is released as bromine radicals (Br) that react quickly with tropospheric ozone (O3), a process known as bromine explosion. This often leads to the complete destruction of O3. Even though bromine explosions have been studied for over three decades, the exact details of their initiation and the nature of the reactive bromine sources are still unclear.

Frost flowers on sea-ice and precipitation of a particular mineral (ikaite) are possible key factors. The UEA Roland von Glasow Air-Sea-Ice Chamber (RvG-ASIC) will be used to simulate these processes under controlled conditions and for the first time explicitly demonstrate their relevance.


You will use state-of-the art methods and instruments to measure concentrations and fluxes of gases and particles above snow and ice in the RvG-ASIC facility. In addition, there is the possibility to deploy instruments during a polar field campaign. You will interpret your observations with a numerical model to quantitatively understand the laboratory experiments and contrast them with existing or new field observations, with the goal to improve global chemistry-climate models.


You will be part of a dynamic research team at UEA (COAS), British Antarctic Survey (AIC) and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (ITI), working on a wide range of environmental topics in the polar regions. You will be trained in the relevant instruments and sampling techniques, modelling, and fieldwork. You will attend an atmospheric sciences summer school and receive support to publish results in peer-reviewed journals and at international conferences.


Degree in chemistry, physics, or related Earth/environmental sciences, with good experimental and numerical skills.


  • 1 Thomas, M., France, J., Crabeck, O., Hall, B., Hof, V., Notz, D., Rampai, T., Riemenschneider, L., Tooth, O. J., Tranter, M. and Kaiser, J. (2021) The Roland von Glasow Air-Sea-Ice Chamber (RvG-ASIC): an experimental facility for studying ocean–sea-ice–atmosphere interactions. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques 14: 1833-1849 10.5194/amt-14-1833-2021
  • 2 Thomas, M., Vancoppenolle, M., France, J. L., Sturges, W. T., Bakker, D. C. E., Kaiser, J. and von Glasow, R. (2020) Tracer measurements in growing sea ice support convective gravity drainage parameterisations. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 125: e2019JC015791 10.1029/2019jc015791Thomas, M., Vancoppenolle, M., France, J. L., Sturges, W. T., Bakker, D. C. E., Kaiser, J. and von Glasow, R. (2020) Tracer measurements in growing sea ice support convective gravity drainage parameterisations. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 125: e2019JC015791 10.1029/2019jc015791
  • 3 Frey, M. M., Norris, S. J., Brooks, I. M., Anderson, P. S., Nishimura, K., Yang, X., Jones, A. E., Nerentorp Mastromonaco, M. G., Jones, D. H. and Wolff, E. W. (2020) First direct observation of sea salt aerosol production from blowing snow above sea ice. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 20: 2549-2578 10.5194/acp-20-2549-2020
  • 4 Simpson, W. R., Glasow, R. v., Riedel, K., Anderson, P., Ariya, P., Bottenheim, J., Burrows, J., Carpenter, L. J., Frieß, U., Goodsite, M. E., Heard, D. E., Hutterli, M., Jacobi, H. W., Kaleschke, L., Neff, B., Plane, J., Platt, U., Richter, A., Roscoe, H., Sander, R., Shepson, P., Sodeau, J., Steffen, A., Wagner, T. and Wolff, E. W. (2007) Halogens and their role in polar boundary-layer ozone depletion. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 7: 4375-4418 10.5194/acp-7-4375-2007
  • 5 Bock, J., Kaiser, J., Thomas, M., Bott, A. and von Glasow, R. (2022) A description of the first open-source community release of MISTRA-v9.0: a 0D/1D atmospheric boundary layer chemistry model. Geoscientific Model Development 15: 5807-5828 10.5194/gmd-15-5807-2022

Key Information

  • This project has been shortlisted for funding by the ARIES NERC DTP and will start on 1st October 2024. The closing date for applications is 23:59 on 10th January 2024.
  • Successful candidates who meet UKRI’s eligibility criteria will be awarded a NERC studentship, which covers fees, stipend (£18,622 p.a. for 2023/24) and research funding. International applicants are eligible for fully-funded ARIES studentships including fees. Please note however that ARIES funding does not cover additional costs associated with relocation to, and living in, the UK. We expect to award between 4 and 6 studentships to international candidates in 2024.
  • ARIES students benefit from bespoke graduate training and ARIES provides £2,500 to every student for access to external training, travel and conferences, on top of all Research Costs associated with the project. Excellent applicants from quantitative disciplines with limited experience in environmental sciences may be considered for an additional 3-month stipend to take advanced-level courses.
  • ARIES is committed to equality, diversity, widening participation and inclusion in all areas of its operation. We encourage enquiries and applications from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation and transgender status. Academic qualifications are considered alongside non-academic experience, and our recruitment process considers potential with the same weighting as past experience.
  • All ARIES studentships may be undertaken on a part-time or full-time basis, visa requirements notwithstanding.
  • For further information, please contact the supervisor. To apply for this Studentship follow the instructions at the bottom of the page or click the 'apply now' link.
  • ARIES is required by our funders to collect Equality and Diversity Information from all of our applicants. The information you provide will be used solely for monitoring and statistical purposes; it will remain confidential, and will be stored on the UEA sharepoint server. Data will not be shared with those involved in making decisions on the award of Studentships, and will have no influence on the success of your application. It will only be shared outside of this group in an anonymised and aggregated form. You will be ask to complete the form by the University to which you apply.
  • ARIES funding is subject to UKRI terms and conditions. Postgraduate Researchers are expected to live within reasonable distance of their host organisation for the duration of their studentship. See for more information

Applications open

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