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ONE Planet DTP - Improving UK Met Office predictions of Arctic Weather (Ref: OP20212)

  • Full or part time
    Dr N Rutter
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 31, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

This project is part of the ONE Planet DTP. Find out more here:

High quality Arctic weather forecasts are urgently needed for northern communities, polar shipping navigability and natural resource policy decisions. It will also provide a better understanding of how Arctic weather influences mid-latitude atmospheric conditions. At present, satellite observations over the Arctic at microwave frequencies are not used in weather prediction models as it is difficult to remove the signal coming from snow-covered surfaces.

Recent work by the supervisory team has shown that observed surface properties can be used to simulate large variations in top of atmosphere brightness temperature not captured by the Met Office operational system. The studentship will develop on this pilot study to demonstrate how surface emissivity predictions from a snow microwave radiative transfer model could be used within the operational system to enable us to use vast quantities of rejected satellite observations.

This is a CASE studentship with the UK Met Office meaning you will have multiple opportunities to work closely with leading scientists in operational weather prediction, including secondments with their Observations Based Research Group in Exeter. You will gain expertise in Arctic snowpack field measurements and modelling at Northumbria University. Here you will access unique data sets that will allow you to test new modelling approaches and unlock a step change in our ability to use satellite data to improve Arctic weather prediction. To deepen your knowledge and skills base this studentship will provide opportunities for you to make your own seasonal snow measurements and be part of the flight teams making atmospheric measurements from research aircraft.

Prerequisites: This project would suit candidates with numerate degrees and a broad background in any of meteorology, physical geography, geoscience, maths, physics or computational sciences. For more information, please contact Dr Nick Rutter ().

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.

Funding Notes

We have a minimum of 12 (3.5 year) PhD fully funded studentship awards available for October 2020 entry. Each award includes fees (Home / EU), an annual living allowance (for 2019/20 this is £15,009) and a Research Training Support Grant (for travel, consumables, as required).

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