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Evaluating the Met Office CASIM cloud microphysics model using research aircraft and polarimetric radars

Project Description

The accurate measurement of the ice particle size distribution (PSD) is a key requirement for numerical simulations of clouds. Knowledge of how the ice PSD changes during cloud evolution from ice nucleation to precipitation will enable an improved understanding of the cloud microphysical processes. Observational case-studies with accurate ice PSD also enable a better constrained evaluation of the implementation of cloud microphysical parametrisations such as CASIM. Poor knowledge of the small ice PSD in particular means that there are potentially large uncertainties in the radiative properties of ice cloud. Recent developments in airborne in-situ instrumentation and in ground-based radar retrievals of hydrometeor properties mean that we can now obtain reliable observational case-studies.

This project will focus on evaluating the performance of the new CASIM microphysics model, and involves close work with partners at the UK Met Office. To validate the model, you will need to gain skills in the use of in-situ particle imagery data from a variety of airborne cloud sensors (e.g. Mie scattering spectrometers, Optical Array Probes, Holographic Imagers, and bulk water vaporizers), and also use a variety of radar data products. You will use data from a variety of recent projects, including the current PICASSO project, a NERC funded project between researchers at the University of Manchester and Reading, with partners at the UK Met Office, University of Leeds/NCAS, NASA and ECMWF. In addition to analyzing observations, you will be required to run numerical simulations of specific case studies and perform intercomparisons with observations, identifying improvements, leading to future improvements in operational weather forecast. This project includes close collaboration the UK Met Office – you will be expected to travel to Met Office HQ in Exeter on several occasions. You should also expect opportunities to participate in joint NERC-Met Office campaigns, including flying on the UK BAE146 research aircraft.

Funding Notes

Studentships are fully funded by The University of Manchester and will provide a stipend (currently £14,777 pa), training support fee and UK/EU tuition fees for 3.5 years. Formal training is offered through partnership between the Universities of Manchester and Liverpool in both subject specific and transferable skills to the entire PhD cohort and at each University through local Faculty training programmes. Candidates from the UK and European Union are eligible for full studentship awards.

Related Subjects

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

FTE Category A staff submitted: 42.13

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