The westerly winds that blow around the Southern Hemisphere are driven by a complex set of processes that vary by season and location. In this project you will unpack how these processes and the winds themselves may respond to changes in the climate.
A number of hypotheses exist for how the Southern Hemisphere westerlies may be influenced by changes in the tropics. Zonal mean perspectives suggest wholescale changes in the windspeed; more nuanced basin specific analyses suggest changes in the spatial patterns of the winds. These hypotheses give conflicting predictions for how the Antarctic climate may be changed.
Using the climate of the past as a test bed you’ll investigate how the westerlies may respond to external forcing. Using climate model simulations designed to test the different hypotheses and interrogating databases of pre-existing model simulations you’ll be able to understand what processes can change the winds. Then, by comparing the model results with palaeoclimate data, you’ll be able to make an assessment of how realistic these changes are and thus assess how important the processes that the model simulates are in the real world. Understanding the climate of Antarctica will be an important part of this project as there a relative abundance of climate records for this area.
This project will involve climate modelling and the interrogation of large dataset of model output. The techniques used for this analysis are typical of those used in data-science, so on completion of the PhD you will have a set of skills that are highly marketable. The potential also exists to take examine how changes in the winds may affect the ocean circulation around Antarctica with implications for past and future stability of the ice sheet.
Some basic experience with numerical analysis software e.g. Python, MATLAB, NCL or similar is a must. Experience of computing in a Unix environment would be helpful. For more information, please contact William Roberts ([email protected]
Eligibility and How to Apply:
Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.
Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. OP.....) will not be considered.
Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.