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Cloud-aerosol-meteorology Interactions in Shallow Convection: Comparing the Southern Ocean against the North Atlantic


Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

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Dr J Crosier No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Shallow convective clouds are commonly observed over mid- and high-latitude oceans and have well been documented for their distinctive morphology. However, little is known about the properties of these clouds. Knowledge on any hemispheric contrast in these systems is even more limited. Unlike the polluted Northern Hemisphere oceans, the Southern Ocean atmosphere is far removed from human and continental sources of aerosols and dust, close to pre-industrial conditions. As such, understanding of any hemispheric contrast in cloud properties is key to constraining the uncertainty in estimating Earth’s climate sensitivity to increased industrial emissions from the historical record.

The objectives of this PhD project are to: (1) characterise the properties of shallow convective clouds over the Southern Ocean and the North Atlantic; (2) understand how the examined cloud properties vary with meteorology, surface and environmental conditions, and aerosol characteristics, and (3) identify key dynamical, thermodynamical, and microphysical processes that define the nature of these clouds.

The project structure will be to take both existing and emerging in-situ aircraft observations and supplemented datasets to characterise the macrophysical and microphysical properties of shallow convective clouds to examine how they vary under different meteorological, environmental, and aerosol conditions. Findings from the Southern Ocean will be compared against the North Atlantic counterpart to explore any systematic hemispheric differences in the examined properties and to elucidate any human impacts. Representative cases will be identified, and idealised simulations will be performed with a state-of-the-art cloud model to understand what dynamical, thermodynamical, and microphysical details are needed to reproduce observations.

Entry Requirements:

Ideal PhD candidates must demonstrate a genuine interest in meteorology, strong computing skills and expertise in analysing large datasets. Applicants should have or expect to achieve at least a 2.1 honours degree in a related science discipline (e.g. Meteorology, Atmospheric Science, Physics, Environmental Science, Applied Mathematics). Applicants should have or expect to achieve at least a 2.1 honours degree in a related science discipline (e.g. Meteorology, Atmospheric Science, Physics, Environmental Science, Applied Mathematics). 

Applicants should hold the minimum entry requirements for the PhD programme in the relevant discipline for both The University of Manchester and The University of Melbourne. The entry criteria for The University of Melbourne can be found on their ‘How to apply’ webpage.

This dual-award programme offers candidates the opportunity to apply for a project with a strong supervisory team both in Manchester and in Melbourne. A dual-award is a PhD programme which leads to separate awards from two partner institutions. PhD candidates will be registered at both Manchester and Melbourne and must complete all of the requirements of the PhD programme in both the home and partner university.

PhD candidates will begin their PhD in Manchester and will then spend at least 12 months in Melbourne. The amount of time spent at Manchester and Melbourne will be dependent upon the project and candidates will work with their supervisory team in the first year to set out the structure of the project.


Funding Notes

This is a 3.5 year dual-award studentship programme. PhD candidates will begin their PhD in Manchester and then spend at least 12 months in Melbourne. Funding include tuition fees, stipend (approximately £15,609 for 2021/22), a research training grant and student travel to Melbourne.
Open to UK applicants only.
We expect the programme to commence in September 2021.
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