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Clear-air turbulence in a changing climate

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  • Full or part time
    Prof P Williams
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Clear-air turbulence is a major hazard to aviation, and is the underlying cause of many people’s fear of air travel. In addition, clear-air turbulence contributes significantly to mixing across the tropopause, constraining the large-scale atmospheric circulation. Clear-air turbulence is caused by shear instabilities within upper-level atmospheric winds, which are projected to be modified by anthropogenic climate change. However, the consequences of climate change for clear-air turbulence have only recently been recognised. This PhD project will perform the first comprehensive analysis of clear-air turbulence in a changing climate. By studying a range of greenhouse-gas scenarios and climate models, the uncertainties in the future projections will be quantified. By studying reanalysis data, the future trends will be placed into a historical perspective. The findings will be of broad interest not only to the academic community, but also to the aviation industry and the general public.

Funding Notes

This project is suitable for self-funded students with a degree in physics, mathematics, or a closely related physical or environmental science. To apply, go to

How good is research at University of Reading in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 75.68

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