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ISVR-FDAG-104: A systems approach to atmosphere/ocean interaction

   Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

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  Dr H Czerski, Prof T.G. Leighton  Applications accepted all year round

About the Project

This project will combine oceanography with a complex systems science approach to develop novel ways of understanding the boundary between the atmosphere and the ocean. This boundary is a crucial part of our climate and weather system, e.g. 25% of all the extra CO2 that humans contribute to the atmosphere is transferred to the ocean, and the tiny aerosol particles produced by the ocean are important for cloud formation. Gases and particles are constantly exchanged between the atmosphere and the ocean, and these exchanges depend on many interacting factors (for example, wind speed, water temperature and biological activity). To improve on current weather and climate models, it’s necessary to be able to predict these interactions in different oceanic conditions. However, current progress is very slow, partly because of the difficulty of measurement and partly because we lack a detailed systems approach to our data analysis.

In November 2013, we will go to sea for six weeks to make the most comprehensive set of measurements yet of gas and particle fluxes and the conditions that may affect them. We are developing separately our understanding of the system components (mechanisms of bubble and aerosol production, for example), and now we have a fantastic opportunity to build novel tools to understand the system. The aim of this project is to take a systems approach to this problem, making use of the available data, and to consider the problem from a relatively unusual point of view. The successful applicant will have a strong maths or physics background, and an interest in complex systems science. This project will make an important contribution to climate and weather science. It also provides the opportunity to develop a multidisciplinary set of skills, and a strong foundation for continuing a career in this field in the future.

This project is being offered as a potential project area for the complex systems simulation doctoral training centre at the University of Southampton, please see: http://www.icss.soton.ac.uk/ for more details on the doctoral programme and the full application process

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Helen Czerski, ISVR research group, Email: [Email Address Removed], Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 3082
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