Professor David Stevens (School of Mathematics, University of East Anglia)
Professor Kent Moore (Department of Physics, University of Toronto)
Greenland acts as a massive barrier to the atmosphere so forces a number of orographic (mountain) winds, such as barrier flows along its flanks and katabatic (downslope) flows over the ice sheet. Barrier winds off eastern Greenland transport sea ice along the coastline, while intermittent katabatic flows can blow ice offshore. These orographic flows dramatically affect the large-scale atmospheric circulation and the air-sea-ice interactions in this region. Furthermore, both the sea-ice around Greenland and the ice sheet itself are changing dramatically in response to anthropogenic climate change and this is changing the role of these orographic flows within the climate system – although we don’t yet know how. The Greenland and Iceland Seas are currently a major focus of attention as they host the processes that generate the densest waters of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation.
In this project, you will examine barrier winds and katabatic flows over Northeast Greenland – a region where they have never been studied. You will examine several case studies using simulations you will make using a state-of-the-art numerical model and observations, including investigating the impact of these events on the ocean and under different sea-ice conditions. You will place these case studies in a climatological context using the latest meteorological reanalyses products. And you will carry out an analysis of coupled climate model output to determine the climatological impact of these flows on the ocean under different sea-ice conditions.
You will join an active research group at UEA in meteorology, oceanography and climate. You will be trained to run state-of-the-art numerical simulations of the atmosphere and learn how to rigorously analyse those simulations, observations and output from the atmospheric, sea-ice and oceanic components of a climate model. You will have the opportunity to present your work at an international conference.
We are looking for enthusiastic and self-motivated candidates with a strong numerical background in meteorology, oceanography, mathematics, physics or similar. Previous programming experience in Python or Matlab would be advantageous.