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Name of scholarship/program

Regional prediction of rainfall changes - an energy budget approach

Important description
A NERC funded PhD CASE Award at the University of Leeds in collaboration with the Met Office, available immediately. You will be based at Leeds in one of the foremost climate change research groups in the country. You will be supported by and visit the Met Office regularly.

Supervisors: Professor Piers Forster (Leeds), Professor Douglas Parker (Leeds) with Dr Timothy Andrews (Met Office).

Funding: The award pays all fees, lab and travel costs. It also pays a tax-free stipend of £13,726 annually. As part of the CASE award you will receive an additional £1500 each year from the Met Office, plus £1250 on completion of the thesis.

Research background and aims: Rainfall forecasts are one of the most uncertain elements of climate change prediction. For many locations current climate models do not even agree whether it will get wetter or drier. Understanding the Earth’s energy budget has proved very useful for predicting large scale changes to the Earth’s temperature. The aim of the project would be to extend the energy budget understanding and approach to regional changes, combining with weather-based process studies to develop a new theory for understanding how we might expect local precipitation to change in the future.

Objectives: The objectives are aligned with the student’s development and interests in mind. To begin, pre-existing climate model simulations (CMIP5) could be utilized to develop the students understanding of climate models and the tools required to analyse complex data. Various hypotheses could be tested. For example, how well does regional rainfall scale with global and local temperature change on various timescales? Can any of the inter-model spread in projected patterns of rainfall changes be related to known uncertainty in their global temperature response (climate sensitivity)? Are other uncertainties more important for regional rainfall, such as uncertainties in forcing and dynamical responses? Does the energy budget approach provide a link between robust high cloud feedbacks in the tropics and the patterns of rainfall change?

The project will then develop these ideas in a more advanced way, using targeted climate model simulations and observations:
1. Analyze and run the Met Office climate model with novel process and energy budget diagnostics
2. Compare climate model output to regional observations to develop new theoretical understanding
3. Build a framework for analysing regional precipitation changes by relating them to energy budget constraints

Potential for high impact outcome: This PhD project uses the existing world leading expertise within the School of Environment at the University of Leeds and at the Met Office to address arguably one of the biggest uncertainties in climate change. By developing new theory as well as running and analysing state of the art climate model results, it will have the potential to have a major effect on climate science.

Training: You will benefit from working within an active and multidisciplinary group of scientists in the Physical Climate Change Group. The group has a long track record of developing new ideas and using climate models, and has trained highly successful PhD students who started from a very limited knowledge of computing. This PhD provides excellent opportunities to learn how to develop and run advanced climate models that are used in IPCC assessments by the Met Office and benefits from their own in-house training. There will be an opportunity to attend the NCAS Earth System Science summer school (or other summer schools) at the start of the PhD.

You will have access to a broad spectrum of training workshops put on by the Faculty that include an extensive range of training workshops in numerical modelling, through to managing your degree, to preparing for your viva. A full listing is available through http://www.findaphd.com/common/clickCount.aspx?theid=43042&type=75&url=http%3a%2f%2fwww.emeskillstraining.leeds.ac.uk%2f"" target=""_blank"" rel=""nofollow""> http://www.emeskillstraining.leeds.ac.uk/ .

Requirements: A good first degree (1 or high 2i), or a good Masters degree in a physical or mathematical discipline, such as mathematics, physics, geophysics, engineering or meteorology. Experience with computing under a Linux operating system is of advantage.

For further information see:
http://www.findaphd.com/common/clickCount.aspx?theid=43042&type=75&url=http%3a%2f%2fwww.see.leeds.ac.uk%2fadmissions-and-study%2fresearch-degrees%2ficas%2fforsterandparker2%2f"" target=""_blank"" rel=""nofollow""> http://www.see.leeds.ac.uk/admissions-and-study/research-degrees/icas/forsterandparker2/

To apply please contact Michelle Lesnianski, http://www.FindAPhD.com/search/EmailEnquiry.aspx?fapjid=43042&LID=742&EA=m.lesnianski@leeds.ac.uk"">m.lesnianski@leeds.ac.uk or visit:
http://www.findaphd.com/common/clickCount.aspx?theid=43042&type=75&url=http%3a%2f%2fwww.see.leeds.ac.uk%2fadmissions-and-study%2fresearch-degrees%2fhow-to-apply%2f"" target=""_blank"" rel=""nofollow""> http://www.see.leeds.ac.uk/admissions-and-study/research-degrees/how-to-apply/ .

For informal enquiries, please contact Professor Piers Forster http://www.FindAPhD.com/search/EmailEnquiry.aspx?fapjid=43042&LID=742&EA=p.m.forster@leeds.ac.uk"">p.m.forster@leeds.ac.uk

Eligibility and other criteria
This research project has funding attached. Funding for this project is available to citizens of a number of European countries (including the UK). In most cases this will include all EU nationals. However full funding may not be available to all applicants and you should read the full department and project details for further information.

Application deadline
*07 June 2013

Additional information, and important URL

A NERC fully funded PhD CASE Award at the University of Leeds in collaboration with the Met Office. Available from October 2013 (or before) for a UK/EU candidate.

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