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New geophysical parameters of melting Arctic sea ice from airborne LiDAR data - MScR in Global Environmental Challenges

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  • Full or part time
    Dr J Landy
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

About The Project
A key feature regulating the melt rate of Arctic sea ice during summer is the fractional coverage of meltwater ponds at the ice surface. Snow and bare sea ice reflect the majority of incoming solar radiation, whereas ponds act like windows, allowing radiation to be transmitted into the ice cover and accelerating the rate of melt. A greater fraction of the ice surface covered by melt ponds lowers the overall sea ice albedo, enhancing the rate of melt [Landy et al., 2015].

Several field campaigns have recently been completed to obtain geophysical observations of melt-pond covered sea ice from airborne instruments including: photography/photogrammetry, LiDAR (light detection and ranging) and radar. Simulation data for the upcoming ICESat-2 laser altimeter mission include multipolarisation photon-counting LiDAR observations of melting sea ice from SIMPL and MABEL instruments, collected between 2011 and 2015, and Operation Icebridge ATM LiDAR observations are available for summer 2016 from NASA. Further airborne data is available from project partners at BAS and AWI [Kurtz et al., 2013; Nasonova et al., 2017].

The two underlying objectives of the work are:

1. To examine the partitioning of shortwave radiation in the upper portion of melting Arctic sea ice, by evaluating the reflective properties of ocean, ice and melt ponds in airborne LiDAR, photography/photogrammetry data.

2. To parameterise geophysical properties of melting sea ice (melt pond size, shape & depth; sea ice thickness under ponds; shortwave absorption in upper ocean and ponds) from airborne observations.

Why Choose This Opportunity
Join a state-of-the-art project in a highly-relevant scientific field: evaluating the interactions between Arctic sea ice & climate. Training will be provided with computer programs to analyse the airborne data. Arctic fieldwork may be possible in summer 2019 through collaborators in Canada (funding dependent).

About You
It is ideal that you have some experience with computer programming (Python, Matlab, R), but most importantly that you are motivated & passionate to pursue a cutting-edge project focused on one of the most rapidly-changing environments of our planet: Arctic sea ice.

About the programme
The Cabot Institute Masters by Research is a unique opportunity to work with a leading supervisor to deliver a one-year research project that you are passionate about. The programme will bring together exceptional students from all backgrounds with a common mission – protecting the planet and securing our future. As well as learning from your supervisor, you will learn from your fellow students; coming together to share your ideas and developing your problem-solving skills as part of an interdisciplinary team over the year. As well as being hosted within the Cabot Institute you will have a direct relationship within the relevant School for your research area, allowing you to fully take advantage of a wide-ranging research community.
Alongside your research project, you will benefit from a unique personal development and transferable skills training schedule. These unaccredited, optional events will give you the opportunity to come together with your peers to improve your research skills and develop an innovative approach to the global challenges we face today. You will also be encouraged to propose your own interests for a seminar series, giving you a unique platform to mould your studies and get involved directly with the programme. The training schedule will focus on:
• Interdisciplinarity & Collaboration
• Innovation & Enterprise
• Making your research a success
• Research communications
• Ignite your interests (your chance to propose ideas for a seminar series)
You will also gain access to the Cabot Institute’s network of experts across academia, government, business and industry via networking events. These opportunities will not only support your research, but give you the edge in your future career, whatever that may be.

Funding Notes

Programme fees per year:
UK/EU Full time £6950, Part time £3560
Overseas Full time £21700, Part time £11100

How good is research at University of Bristol in Geography, Environmental Studies and Archaeology?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 46.45

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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