September 2011
Message 68

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[Met-jobs] Postdoctoral Position at the Centre de Recherches de Climatologie (France)

From "Roger Brugge" <>
To "" <>
Date Mon, 19 Sep 2011 13:01:33 +0000

Forwarded from CLIMLIST...

Centre de Recherches de Climatologie, UMR5210 CNRS
Bât. Sciences Gabriel, 6 blvd Gabriel, 21000 Dijon
Teleconnexions between West African atmospheric conditions (Monsoon and
Harmattan wind) and
extratropical climate variability: diagnostic analysis and modeling
West African climate is characterized by two different seasons, i.e. the
monsoonal season from June
to September and a dry season, both having strong impacts on society
such as water resource
during the rainy season and health impacts (for instance meningitis
epidemics) linked with low
humidity and dust load and transport during the dry season. The analysis
of observations and
regional model simulations since 2003 have shown robust teleconnexions
between West African
climate variability and mid-latitude atmospheric circulation, especially
through different weather
regimes (Jung et al., 2006). The role of the Mediterranean Basin in
these teleconnexions has
recently been shown. In fact, West African precipitation shows stronger
correlation with
Mediterranean Sea surface temperature than equatorial Atlantic (Feudale
et Shukla, 2007; Martiny
et al., 2009; Polo et al., 2011).
Other studies have shown that the Harmattan winds, blowing from the east
or northeast and
bringing a large amount of desert dust coming from the Sahara and
Sahel's arid soils (Martiny et al.
2007 ; Molesworth et al., 2009), that play an important role on February
to April meningitis number
of cases in West Africa, are highly dependent on the wintertime
Mediterranean atmospheric
dynamics (Fontaine et al., 2009). To decline those results in terms of
vulnerability, impacts and
adaptation for societies, it is essential to take into account the
variability at small spatial scales.
Two main integrated components will be considered :
The first step will focuse on the study of the interactions between the
mid-latitude climate dynamics
and the climate variability associated with (i) the summertime West
African monsoon and (ii) the
wintertime Harmattan winds. The aim is especially to highlight the
importance of the mid-latitude
atmospheric dynamics but also the role of the Mediterranean Sea surface
temperature on West
African atmospheric conditions. The second step will focuses on the
impact of this specific
interactions on the modulation in the predictability of extreme events
such as heavy rainfall and
drought conditions. To do so, a diagnostic study of the interactions
between mid-latitude and West
African atmospheric variability will be performed (reanalyses, in-situ
data) especially with
multivariate statistical methods, including weather classification
approaches (automatic
classification, neural networks).
Numerical simulation experiments will also be achieved based on the WRF
regional climate model
implemented at the CRC laboratory. The study will first concentrate on
the simulation of extreme
events in the contemporary period (second half of the 20th century) with
a focus on the rain at the
beginning and the end of monsoon, and on the temperatures, winds and
humidity in the heart of the
dry season (January-May) in West Africa in order to better understand
the processes involved. The
experimental set up will then focus on the response of West African
climate variability to variations
of the Mediterranean Sea surface temperature, but also through so-called
guided experiments with
different configurations (blocking, “Greenland Above” circulation) that
often happened vertical to
the Mediterranean Sea. Numerical simulations will finally be based on
future climate forced by the
possible evolution of some atmospheric parameters (under different
scenarios of climate change) to
estimate possible changes in the relationship between extratropical and
Mediterranean / West
African climate conditions.
Different datasets will be used:
• Atmospheric Reanalyses ERA (1950-today), ERA-interim (1989-today);
• Global numerical simulations from ECHAM/MPI-OM from 1950 to 2100 (17
ensemble runs,
A1b SRES scenario);
• Global numerical simulations from ARPEGE from 1950 to 2100 (A2 ans B2 SRES
• CMIP-4 available numercial simulations;
• Regional WRF numerical imulations (ensemble-runs computed at CRC);
• Station data.
• Multivariate statistics (CCA, EOFs) and Model Output Statistics;
• Unix
• Good skills in Matlab programation and netCDF operators
• Good skills in numerical simulations;
• Good knowledge in West-African and Mediterranean climate will be
• English
Period: january 2011 – december 2012 (12 months)
Salary: 2000 euros
CV + motivation letters at:

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