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Asymmetries between feedbacks in warming and cooling climates – PhD (Funded)

Project Description

Project Description:

Complex numerical General Circulation Models (GCMs) are used to make projections of changes in 21st century climate. Because the models are imperfect, different models make different, but potentially equally plausible, predictions for the 21st century. It is therefore important to simulate past climates that differ from today to test the models against climates for which we actually have observations. We can then constrain predictions of future climate change by only using projections from GCMs that satisfactorily simulate past climates.

A problem with constraining future climates this way is that the future will be warmer, whereas many past climates, such as those of the last century and the last ice age, were cooler. This means that the feedback processes that produce climate change in response to forcings such as changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide may not respond in the same way. This project will explore these problems with the aim of understanding how climate change differs when we warm or cool the Earth. The project will investigate feedback processes that control the magnitude of climate change using idealised GCM simulations in conjunction with arguments from basic physical principles. A key focus will be clouds, which are one of the biggest uncertainties affecting predictions of future climate change. By comparing results from simulations of the past and the future, we will develop an understanding of if and how climate feedbacks involving warming and cooling relate to one another.

This award provides annual funding to cover UK/EU tuition fees and a tax-free stipend. For students who pay UK/EU tuition fees the award will cover the tuition fees in full, plus at least £15,285 per year tax-free stipend. Students who pay international tuition fees are eligible to apply, but should note that the award will only provide payment for part of the international tuition fee and no stipend.
The studentship will be awarded on the basis of merit for 3.5 years of full-time study to commence in September 2020.

Funding Notes

The University of Exeter’s College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences is inviting applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship to commence in September 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter. For eligible students the studentship will cover UK/EU tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £15,285 for 3.5 years full-time, or pro rata for part-time study. The student would be based in the Department of Mathematics in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences at the Streatham Campus in Exeter.

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