University of Cambridge

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Arnell Post-Doctoral Research Associate (Fixed Term)

The Arnell Post-Doctoral Research Associate will work on a project funded by the Centre for Climate Repair at the University of Cambridge, based at the Department of Geography, and will work under the guidance of Dr Francesco Muschitiello.

Stratospheric injection of aerosols by explosive volcanic eruptions results in a complex set of responses driving climate effects on a variety of time and spatial scales. However, the mechanisms by which volcanic forcing causes global and regional cooling on long timescales remain insufficiently examined. In particular, the climate feedbacks and responses to a close succession of strong volcanic eruptions are still poorly quantified, which hinders assessing future climate projections to volcanic activity (Zanchettin et al., 2016).

This project aims at investigating the potential of clusters of strong volcanic eruptions to cause sustained cold events under pre-Holocene climate scenarios. The successful applicant will design and run transient climate model experiments using Earth system models that include atmospheric chemistry-aerosol-climate coupling, i.e. one or two of the following models: UKESM1, MPI-ESM1.2, and HadCM3. The simulations will be performed under a range of glacial boundary conditions to determine the cooling potential of volcanic clusters and assess short- and long-term memory of regional and global climatic variability. Particular attention will be paid to how volcanic cluster signals propagate into the subsurface ocean and the associated determinant processes, the ocean memory effects and the coupling between northward heat transport, Arctic sea ice and the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. Finally, the experiments will be evaluated using a wide network of proxy-climate data by comparing reconstructed and simulated spatial temperature and precipitation patterns.

Eligible candidates must have a PhD (or equivalent degree) in Climate Physics, Applied Mathematics, Earth Sciences or allied disciplines. A background in palaeoclimate modelling is desirable. They must be highly motivated, have excellent time management, organisational and communication skills, and be able to work well as part of a team. The successful candidate will be based in Cambridge and work closely with Dr Francesco Muschitiello and an international network of collaborators, i.e. Dr Thomas Aubry (University of Exeter), Dr Peter Hopcroft (University of Birmingham), Dr Claudia Timmreck (Max-Planck Institute for Meteorology), Dr Davide Zanchettin (University of Venice). They will have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of activities within the Centre for Climate Repair and the Department of Geography, including the departmental 'Climate and Environmental Dynamics' research group, and reading groups and seminars across the University.

They will be invited to become a member of Downing College and of its Middle Common Room (MCR) with associated privileges, and it is expected that the candidate will make an active contribution towards College life, educationally and socially.

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Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 24 months in the first instance.

Please quote reference LC34026 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Further information

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