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Tropical weather systems and their global impacts: How will they evolve with climate change? (MATTHEWSAU20SCIO)

Project Description

The eastern Indian and western Pacific Oceans form the “tropical warm pool”, the largest area of warm ocean on the planet. The warm pool provides the heat and moisture for the most intense atmospheric convection (thousands of cumulonimbus clouds) on Earth. These convective clouds supply the rainfall essential for agriculture and social and economic needs for countries within the Asian-Australian monsoon system. Additionally, the heat release due to condensation within these clouds leads to changes in weather globally through “teleconnection” patterns. For example, the “Beast from the East” cold spell in the UK in early 2018 owed its existence in part to a particularly wet period over the warm pool. Hence, understanding of the large-scale tropical weather systems that govern the rainfall over the warm pool, and their downstream influences on global weather systems, is of major importance in weather prediction. How these processes are projected to evolve with climate change is largely unknown, but is of great importance for the understanding and interpretation of climate change projections.

You will use the recently available state-of-the-art CMIP6 (Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6) data set to determine how well these tropical weather systems are simulated in the current climate, and how they are projected to change through the later 21st Century. This will include an assessment of the global impacts of these tropical systems (their “teleconnections”). You will investigate the physical processes in the CMIP6 models that lead to the successful simulations and any biases in the simulations. Your work will feed into the discussion of how society copes with the effects of climate change. You will join the Centre for Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at UEA, and be trained in the computational and data analysis skills necessary to undertake the task, in addition to the underlying meteorological and oceanographic processes.

For more information on the project’s supervisor, please visit:
Type of programme: PhD
Start date of project: October 2020
Mode of study: full time
Studentship length: funded for 3 years
Location: UEA
Entry requirements: acceptable first degree in Physics, Mathematics, Meteorology, Oceanography. The standard minimum entry requirement is 2:1.

Funding Notes

This PhD project is in a competition for a Faculty of Science funded studentship. Funding is available to UK/EU applicants and comprises home/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend of £15,009 for 3 years. Overseas applicants may apply but they are required to fund the difference between home/EU and overseas tuition fees (which for 2019-20 are detailed on the University’s fees pages at View Website . Please note tuition fees are subject to an annual increase).

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