How will Air-Sea Greenhouse Gas Fluxes Respond to Global Change?


How will Air-Sea Greenhouse Gas Fluxes Respond to Global Change?


Project Description


Professor Parv Suntharalingam, University of East Anglia – Contact me

Dr Erik Buitenhuis, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia

Professor Colin Jones, UK Met Office


The ocean plays a key role in controlling atmospheric  greenhouse-gas levels. It removes a significant fraction of anthropogenic carbon-dioxide from the atmosphere, and also emits nitrous-oxide  and methane, important greenhouse-gases formed by marine ecosystems. We urgently need to understand the processes regulating these air-sea fluxes, and how they will evolve under future global change.  To accurately assess the combined impact of different greenhouse-gases on climate it is important to use models that integrate the underlying carbon and nitrogen cycles, and deliver a consistent greenhouse-gas flux response to global change.

In this project you will work with a team of scientists from UEA, the UK Met Office, and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), to develop an integrated greenhouse-gas system in a global ocean biogeochemistry model. This work builds on recent research at UEA on the numerical modelling of the individual greenhouse-gases (carbon-dioxide, nitrous-oxide and methane).  You will apply the integrated model to assess the combined oceanic greenhouse-gas response  to a range of climate change scenarios, for example, accounting for the impacts of ocean warming and deoxygenation on marine biogeochemistry.  The overarching aim will be to assess how the impacts of global change will affect the air-sea  fluxes of the major greenhouse-gases within a consistent physical and biological model framework.


This is a collaborative project between UEA, the UK Met Office and the British Antarctic Survey. You will be guided by a supervisory team drawn from the different institutions, and receive training in ocean circulation and biogeochemistry, numerical methods, and associated climate data analyses.  You will acquire skills in science communication, project management and collaborative research, and will be involved in a project of critical interest to oceanography and climate research communities.

Person Specification

This project is suited for a candidate with a background in natural sciences, engineering or mathematics, with strong numerical and programming skills,  and interests in ocean biogeochemistry and global change.


  • 1 Tian, H. et al. (including P. Suntharalingam and E, Buitenhuis), ‘A comprehensive quantification of global nitrous oxide sources and sinks’, 2020, Nature. 586, 7828, p. 248–256.
  • 2 Buitenhuis, E. T., Suntharalingam, P. & Le Quéré, C., ‘Constraints on global oceanic emissions of N2O from observations and models’, 2018, Biogeosciences. 15, 7, p. 2161-2175.Buitenhuis, E. T., Suntharalingam, P. & Le Quéré, C., ‘Constraints on global oceanic emissions of N2O from observations and models’, 2018, Biogeosciences. 15, 7, p. 2161-2175.
  • 3 Andrews, O., Buitenhuis, E., Le Quéré, C. & Suntharalingam, P., ‘Biogeochemical modelling of dissolved oxygen in a changing ocean’, 2017, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A. 375, 2102, 20160328.
  • 4 Friedlingstein, P., et al., ‘Global Carbon Budget 2022’, Earth System Science Data, 2022, Vol. 14, 11, p. 4811–4900.
  • 5 Suntharalingam, P., Buitenhuis, E., Le Quéré, C et al., ‘Quantifying the Impact of Anthropogenic Nitrogen Deposition on Oceanic Nitrous Oxide’, 2012, Geophysical Research Letters. 39, 7, L07605.

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

Click this link to apply to University of East Anglia