Tuesday, January 13, 2009

PhD Position in Chemistry-cloud-climate links in the Marine Boundary Layer, the University of East Anglia, UK

A PhD position for 3 years is available at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK to investigate the role of stratiform clouds for the chemistry and the role of chemistry for cloud properties and climate forcing (funding unfortunately only for UK/EU students).

Clouds have a profound effect on climate due to their ability to reflect sunlight back to space and thermal radiation back to the Earth. At the core of each cloud droplet there is a so-called cloud condensation nucleus (CCN) that determines the properties of the droplet. Many different types of particles act as CCN, each with different properties.

The goal of this project is to improve our quantitative understanding of the bi-directional links between chemistry, the CCN population and stratiform clouds as well as between these clouds and climate (via so-called indirect aerosol effects). Our main interests are stratiform clouds in the marine boundary layer (MBL), how their microphysical and optical properties are affected by chemistry including gas-to-particle formation of new CCN and growth of CCN as well as how the clouds affect the chemistry in the MBL. Furthermore we will examine crucial steps of a widely publicised hypothesis of natural climate regulation (the “CLAW-hypothesis”).

To this end the PhD student is supposed to use the Large Eddy Model, LEM, of the Met Office which will be extended as part of this project to include a simplified description of chemistry and the interaction with warm cloud microphysics. The use of the LEM will give us the opportunity to study whole cloud systems of scales of kilometres with high vertical and horizontal resolution. The results from these model runs will be compared with field data for example from the upcoming VOCALS-Rex campaign to be held in Oct/Nov 2008 in the southeast Pacific. The specific objectives of this studentship are: (1) To quantify the chemical processes that control new particle formation and particle growth in the marine boundary layer (MBL). (2) To quantify indirect radiative effects based on (1). (3) To quantify the impact of aerosol and cloud chemistry on the chemistry in the MBL.

Special issue on the CLAW hypothesis in Environmental Chemistry, December 2007; in this issue: on Glasow, R. von Glasow, R. and P. J. Crutzen, Model study of multiphase DMS oxidation with a focus on halogens,

Webpage of VOCALS project:

Research Areas
Atmospheric Sciences

Keywords: Environmental Chemistry; Atmospheric Physics; Meteorology; Environmental Sciences;

Funding Status: Directly Funded Project (EU) Pre-allocated studentship. School Funding

Suitable First Degree: Atmospheric sciences; Environmental sciences; Physics; Chemistry; Mathematics

Closing date: 30th January 2009