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ONEPlanet DTP - Remote Sensing of Snow for Improvement of Weather Forecasts(OP2110)

Faculty of Engineering and Environment

Monday, January 18, 2021 Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

High quality Arctic weather forecasts are urgently needed for polar shipping navigability, resource exploration and northern communities, as well as to provide a better understanding of how Arctic atmospheric conditions influences our mid-latitude weather. At present, satellite observations over the Arctic at microwave frequencies that provide information on the atmosphere are not used for weather prediction as they are contaminated by the signal emitted from snow-covered surfaces. To use these satellite measurements, the surface snow properties must be known in order to predict the emission from the surface. This is currently challenging as the snow crystals continually change shape and size with changing temperature conditions.
For this project, you will quantify spatial variability in snow properties, simulate satellite observations with the Snow Microwave Radiative Transfer (SMRT) model and compare the results with data. You will then use these simulations at the Met Office to demonstrate whether SMRT, given snow information from a land surface model, provides a better interpretation of satellite data than currently possible from operational systems. Consequently, this project offers the potential to change weather forecasting.
This is a CASE studentship project with the Met Office. Whilst at the Met Office you will have the opportunity to gain experience in weather forecast systems and have laboratory access to remote sensing instruments like those currently in space. At Northumbria you will develop expertise in remote sensing, numerical modelling techniques, and earth system modelling. This project uses existing data so does not rely on new fieldwork, but because of the research activities of the supervisory team you will likely have the opportunity to participate in airborne campaigns with the Met Office and learn how to measure snow in the Arctic with Northumbria University.

Funding Notes

Each of our studentship awards include 3.5 years of fees (Home/EU), an annual living allowance (£15,285) and a Research Training Support Grant (for travel, consumables, as required). Additional project costs are also provided by our CASE partner the Met Office.

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