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DOC-SWEET - Deep Ocean Circulation during Super-Warm Early Eocene Temperatures

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  • Full or part time
    Dr T van de Flierdt
    Dr D Lunt
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

Background and Significance

Knowledge of our future climate rests almost entirely on the accuracy of complex numerical models of the Earth system. These models are rooted in our understanding of the current climate state, and therefore require evaluation when simulating the substantially warmer climates expected in the future. One effective way of achieving this is to use the climate of the geological past, which represents actual examples of the Earth system operating in warm climate states. The early Eocene climatic optimum (~50 million years ago) is the warmest time interval of at least the last 65 Myrs, and hence an ideal test bed.

SWEET - Super Warm Early Eocene Temperatures and climate understanding the response of the Earth to high CO2 through integrated modelling and data
SWEET is a multidisciplinary NERC large grant, involving a number of researchers at the University of Bristol, Southampton, Cardiff University, Open University, Northumbria University and Imperial College. It is closely aligned with the international DeePMIP project (

DOC-SWEET - Deep Ocean Circulation during the Super Warm Early Eocene Temperatures:
This fully funded 44 month studentship is based at Imperial College (with visiting trips / extended stays at the University of Bristol) and will explore the Eocene deep oceans and ocean circulation using a combined model-data approach. The student will be part of the SSCP DTP cohort: grantham/education/science-and-solutions-for-a-changing-planet-dtp/).

Methodology and Supervision

(1) Eocene deep water masses will be reconstructed using the neodymium isotopic composition of fossil fish teeth and debris from a number of global sites, which are simultaneously investigated for key environmental parameters (e.g. T, CO2) by other SWEET partners. The geochemical analyses will be performed at Imperial’s state-of-the-art MAGIC laboratories (Mass Spectrometry and Isotope Geochemistry at Imperial College London) in the Department of Earth Science and Engineering. (2) Based on the geochemical results, as well as on model runs preformed within the Bristol SWEET group, the student will perform additional ocean sensitivity studies to constrain key uncertainties within Eocene (deep) ocean circulation models using HadCM3. This component of the project will be performed in the BRIDGE research group at Bristol.
We particularly encourage applications from students with a strong interest in geochemistry, oceanography and palaeoclimatology and a suitable background in Earth Science or related fields. Numerical skills/interests will be vital for the modelling part of the project.

Please contact Tina van de Flierdt ([email protected] or Dan Lunt ([Email Address Removed]) directly if you are interested in the project. Please include your CV when contacting us.

Funding Notes

Starting date: As soon as possible. Funding is in hand and the project has started.
Eligibility: UK ‘settled status’ or ‘ordinarily resident’

Fully funded associated studentship

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