Professor David Stevens (School of Mathematics, University of East Anglia) – Contact me
Dr David Munday (British Antarctic Survey)
Dr Xiaoming Zhai (School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia)
Dr Emma Young (British Antarctic Survey)
Dr Helene Hewitt (Met Office)
The Southern Ocean is a critical component of the global climate system, providing a pathway between the major ocean basins and accounting for about 75% of global ocean heat uptake. Bathymetry provides a strong constraint on ocean circulation with major currents, such as the Antarctic Circumpolar Current of the Southern Ocean, being bathymetrically steered. Despite its importance, the Antarctic Circumpolar Current is not well represented in state-of-the-art climate models. As models become more detailed and represent finer scales of motion, such as mesoscale eddies, there is less certainty in the accuracy of bathymetric observations, and how flows will interact with overly smooth or overly rough, bottom bathymetry.
The aim of this project is to combine ocean model resolution and bathymetry changes to examine a range of problems relevant to current trends in ocean and climate model design. For instance, how sensitive is the volume transport of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current to the representation of bathymetry? You will assess the role and representation of bathymetry in ocean circulation using a hierarchy of models. You will also examine how the inclusion of mesoscale eddies influences bathymetric interactions and steering of ocean currents. In each case you will determine the impact on ocean heat and salinity, sea-ice and thus model climate.
You will join a team of ocean and climate modellers at UEA, British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge and Met Office in Exeter (CASE partner). The project will provide you with a thorough training in ocean dynamics and numerical ocean modelling. You will learn to use state-of-the-art computer systems to rigorously analyse large model datasets. You will gain valuable practical experience from CASE work with the Met Office. There will be opportunities to attend summer schools. You will present your work at national and international conferences. There may also be an opportunity to undertake fieldwork to gain an appreciation of observational data.
We seek an enthusiastic candidate with strong scientific interests and self-motivation. They will have a degree in physics, mathematics, oceanography, meteorology, or climate science with good numerical skills.