About the Project
Satellite along-track altimetry data in Antarctic sea ice leads will be used to analyse the ocean’s sea level inside polynyas, to identify the fingerprints of dense water formation and circulation. To this end, Sea Surface Height and Sea Height Anomaly products will be processed and analysed from both the CryoSat-2 (European Space Agency) and ICESat-2 (NASA) Polar satellite missions.
The representation of processes driving deep water formation and circulation in the Southern Ocean (such as winds and sea ice dynamics) will be assessed in state-of-the-art simulations from the 6th Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6). This will be achieved by setting up advanced cloud-based computing capabilities (e.g. Pangeo) and using statistical tools and machine learning techniques to identify and explore the key relationships between ice-ocean-atmosphere processes and interactions.
These combined results will be used to determine the effect of Antarctic sea ice on ocean circulation and heat/carbon uptake, improve our understanding of present and past trends, and more skillfully predict how these may change in the future.
The orbits of CryoSat-2 and ICESat-2 were partially aligned in 2020, to provide a unique dataset of coincident measurements from the satellites and increase the accuracy of sea ice measurements around Antarctica. Project work will include a hosted international visit at NASA, where ICESat-2 sea ice data are being developed. In addition, the CMIP6 archive of simulations has recently become available and will contribute to the 6th assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC).
These recent advances in both numerical modelling and satellite remote sensing make such a project especially timely, while the ability to process and interpret these types of data products is among the most in-demand skills in international environmental research. This PhD will enable the student to develop proficiency in these techniques, including computer programming and handling ‘big data’ archives, with the support of an international team with a diverse range of expertise.
The student will be based at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton and work closely with supervisors based at the University of Leeds, where the student will be registered, the University of Southampton and the British Antarctic Survey. There will be opportunities to participate in Antarctic research cruises.
This is a CASE studentship, in partnership with Pixalytics (Plymouth) https://www.pixalytics.com
The student will be based at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton and registered at University of Leeds.
Project co-supervisors: Alberto Naveira Garabato (University of Southampton), Onno Bokhove (University of Leeds), Andrew Meijers (British Antarctic Survey), Rachel Tilling (NASA/University of Maryland), Anna Hogg (University of Leeds), Steven Tobias (University of Leeds )
Check www.eo-cdt.org/apply-now for more information on funding and application process.
This 3 year 9 month long NERC SENSE CDT award will provide tuition fees (£4,409 for 2020/21), tax-free stipend at the UK research council rate (£15,285 for 2020/21), a research grant to support national and international conference travel.
Pangeo: A community platform for Big Data geoscience https://pangeo.io/
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