January 2013
Message 3

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[Met-jobs] Job offer: Developing and testing the energy budget in the land surface model ORCHIDEE

From "Roger Brugge" <>
To "" <>
Date Fri, 4 Jan 2013 10:41:33 +0000

Summary of post
We are recruiting for a new (post-doctoral) position to play a key part in the 
development of a new implementation of the energy budget in the land surface 
model ORCHIDEE. The role is based at the LSCE and is anticipated for a period 
of 18 months.

The new energy budget implementation represents an exciting and innovative new 
development to the land surface scheme ORCHIDEE. This task will involve the 
testing, evaluation and refinement of an improved simulation of the energy 
balance that is already under development. Specific objectives for this role 
will include the identification and preparation of suitable data sets for the 
evaluation of the model; parameterisation and optimisation of the model as a 
result of running these tests and evaluation of new methods for specific 
physical processes that contribute to the energy budget, such as stomatal 

Fuller description
The objective of the DOFOCO project (for which this position is a part) is to 
quantify and understand the role of forest management in mitigating climate 
change. The only means by which the full consequences of land-use change can be 
evaluated over large regions is by means of surface layer model which simulates 
both the biogeochemical and biophysical pathways and is linked ('coupled') to 
an atmospheric circulation model. However, barring some site-specific models, 
the current generation of coupled land-atmosphere models have difficulties in 
being able to reproduce the observed site-level sensible and latent heat fluxes.

The energy budget model that has been developed so far involves the 
implementation of more than one canopy vegetation layer to simulate the effects 
of scalar gradients within the canopy for determining, more accurately, the net 
sensible and latent heat fluxes that are passed to the atmosphere. It includes 
representation of characteristics such as in-canopy transport, coupling with 
sensible heat flux from the soil, and a multilayer radiation budget. It has 
also been designed to run stably and efficiently when coupled LMDZ, a global 
atmospheric model.

However, to give an accurate a wide-scale simulation as possible, this model 
must be validated using data from measurement sites – this is the focus of this 
new research post.

So far this new model that has been validated on only a small number of test 
sites. This role involves applying it to a much broader range of simulations. 
There are a large number of long term measurement sites within the Fluxnet 
dataset, that correspond to a range of different canopy scenarios (such as 
heathland or forest of varying density). The objective here is to define the 
characteristics that most closely link the predictions of latent and sensible 
heat in the site-specific case to the general case, and so enable a large scale 
validation, including the simulation of extreme events such as heatwaves. 
Following the site-specific evaluations, the regional capacity of the new 
version of the model will be validated against remote sensing data. This 
coupled model will then be run at regional scale to again identify and evaluate 
the performance under extreme scenarios.

Skills that will be applied in this role include the processing of large 
datasets, the application of script-driven data analysis software such as 
Ferret and IDL, the review of new approaches in the scientific literature and 
the authoring of manuscripts for both internal and external dissemination. The 
model itself is coded in Fortran, and all updates are documented and 
disseminated throughout the user community. The successful candidate will work 
alongside existing team members who are concentrating on the physics and design 
of the new energy budget model, and on its broader implementation as part of 
the updated ORCHIDEE as a means to better simulate, understand and make 
predictions for the future implications of land use scenarios.

Home institution
Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement (LSCE, 
Orme-les-Merisiers, Gif-sur-Yvette). LSCE is a joint research unit of 
Commissariat à L’Energie Atomique et des Energies Alternatives (CEA), Centre 
National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and Université de Versailles Saint 
Quentin-en-Yvelines (UVSQ). LSCE employs over 320 researchers covering 30 
different nationalities. Their research mission is to contribute to a better 
understanding of the interactions between human activities in the Earth System, 
environment and climate dynamics at different time scales. LSCE is a world 
class institute and a thriving nexus for climate change research.

Given the interdisciplinary nature of the research we are seeking for a highly 
motivated individual with a degree (Master or PhD) in for example mathematics, 
physic, engineering, computer science, meteorology or theoretical ecology. A 
broad interest in natural sciences more specifically terrestrial ecology is 
essential. Rather than for a specific training, we are looking for a candidate 
who is able to demonstrate her/his ability to develop code (Fortran 90) and 
solve numerical schemes. Priority will be given to individuals who published 
peer-reviewed papers but it is not a strict requirement.

Required content of the application
There are no specified application forms. Applications and inquiries should be 
sent to Sebastiaan Luyssaert ( 
Applications should include (1) a curriculum vitae, (2) statement of 
motivation, (3) a short description (½ page no more than 1 page) of a recent 
scientific problem you successfully solved and (4) names, addresses, phone 
numbers, and email addresses of at least two references. The position is 
available from May 1st and will remain open until filled with review of 
applications and interviews starting on January 21st. Salary follows national 
directives and is adjusted for work experience. A dual position may be explored 
in case the partner has a competitive cv and background in line with the 
research activities at LSCE.

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