January 2012
Message 71

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[Met-jobs] PhD Studentship at the University of Bristol: Inverse modelling of HFCs

From Matthew Rigby <>
Date Wed, 25 Jan 2012 11:15:29 +0000

Quantifying sources and sinks of the atmosphere's fastest-growing greenhouse 

There are more than 40 greenhouse gases present in significant quantities in 
the atmosphere, many of which are much more fast-growing than CO2.  One family 
of gasses of particular concern are the hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are 
widely-used replacements for ozone-destroying CFCs.  Per tonne of emissions, 
these gasses are tens to thousands of times more potent than CO2 and some are 
increasing in concentration by tens of percent per year.  They are 
predominantly removed from the atmosphere by a naturally-occuring compound, the 
hydroxyl radical (OH), which is often called the 'detergent' of the atmosphere. 
 During this 3-year project, the student will develop methods to infer detailed 
HFC source estimates using atmospheric measurements and chemical transport 
models.  They will develop new multi-species estimation techniques, in which 
correlations between HFC source distributions are exploited to decrease the 
overall uncertainty on HFC emissions.  Factors that lead to variability in the 
global OH concentration will be investigated using a chemical transport model, 
and the influence of these changes on HFC concentrations and top-down emissions 
estimates will be examined.  Outcomes will include the most detailed and 
comprehensive set of 'top-down' global HFC emissions estimates yet compiled, 
and an increased understanding of the influence of variability in global 
hydroxyl radical concentration on the atmospheric HFC burden.  These aims will 
be achieved through collaboration with the UK Met. Office and international 
partners such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) through the 
Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE).

You will be based in the Atmospheric Chemistry Research Group (ACRG, in the School of Chemistry at 
the University of Bristol. ACRG is a fast-growing and friendly research group 
with a wide range of expertise in the measurement and modelling of atmospheric 
composition. Applicants must have, or expect to obtain, a 2:1 or above in a 
relevant discipline. An excellent background in mathematics is required, and 
some coding experience is preferable. The NERC funding source, which covers 
tuition fees and a stipend, requires that the applicant be a UK resident 
( Non-UK residents are 
welcome to apply, if they can obtain their own funding.  

Supervisors: Matt Rigby ( and Simon O'Doherty 

Applications and enquires should be sent to

Matt Rigby
NERC Advanced Research Fellow
School of Chemistry
University of Bristol

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