June 2016
Message 16

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[Met-jobs] NERC Case studentship: Surface fluxes, temperatures and boundary layer evolution at the building greyzone in London

From Roger Brugge <>
To "" <>
Date Mon, 6 Jun 2016 13:02:48 +0000

Please forward this to potentially interested students
PhD  Position Available (please see eligibility):
Deadline: decisions being made on an ongoing basis
Start Date: Late September 2016 or later.
Surface fluxes, temperatures and boundary layer evolution at the building 
greyzone in London
Supervisors: Prof Sue Grimmond (University of Reading), Dr Sylvia Bohnenstengel 
(Met Office@ Reading), Dr Humphrey Lean (Met Office@ Reading), Dr Martin Best 
(Met Office, Exeter)
Funding: NERC Case Studentship (with the Met Office)  (You need to have been in 
the UK for 3 years or longer, if not in the UK  for three years but from EU – 
fees only). Expect or have a first class honours degree or distinction in a 
relevance Masters programme

The next generation of weather and climate models will have higher spatial 
resolution. Versions now under development are at 500, 330, 100 and 50 m 
resolution compared to the current 1.5 km used routinely by the Met Office (the 
so-called UKV version of the Unified Model (UM)).This greater resolution will 
enable conditions across cities to be resolved with important implications for 
forecasts and decision-making, particularly under hazardous situations. The 
proposed research will assess these new modelling capabilities, specifically 
using a network of observations in London to identify deficiencies/strengths 
and to work to improve their performance.

In the context of cities, enhanced spatial resolution of the UKV means that the 
3-dimensional nature of the urban environment has to be addressed in more 
detail. To do this the urban land surface model used within the UKV is being 
updated to include MORUSES (Met Office Reading Urban Surface Exchange Scheme, 
Porson et al. 2010, QJRMS) (via JULES - Joint UK Land Environment Simulator). 
MORUSES calculates the surface energy balance as a function of the spatially 
varying street canyon geometry. MORUSES uses grid scale building geometry to 
calculate effective roughness lengths for heat via a resistance network taking 
into account 3 different flow regimes in street canyons. This allows the 
variability of sensible heat over urban areas (well documented observationally) 
to be captured. MORUSES simulates fluxes of heat and momentum in the inertial 
sublayer at resolutions of O(1km). However, higher resolutions approach the 
'building grey zone', where large buildings/streets start to become resolved. 
The building greyzone problem, and larger inhomogeneity at O(100m) scales, 
raise questions as to whether the 'effective roughness length' concept for heat 
and momentum can parametrise these exchanges, or if a vertically distributed 
approach to parametrise these exchanges is needed.

The research proposed here aims to test MORUSES (and higher resolution models) 
in London for a wide range of meteorological conditions using a wide range of 
point and spatially representative meteorological observations drawing on data 
from the London Urban Meteorology Observatory
(LUMO)( The London observational network also 
provides a unique opportunity to undertake 3-d model evaluation at mltiple, 
nested scales. Data to be used include turbulent sensible heat fluxes 
determined by eddy covariance (EC) and scintillometry techniques; boundary 
layer height and cloud cover using ceilometry; and surface temperatures from 
fast response infra-red cameras.

Specifically the student will
* develop O(100m) input dataset for MORUSES and compare against UKV
* develop scale-appropriate products for model evaluation
* compare performance of MORUSES at different resolutions against observations
* test the MORUSES approach for high-rise buildings
* test evolution of the boundary layer simulated by the model against lidar 
derived BL height The studentship provides an excellent opportunity to gain 
skills in state of the art observations and their  analysis; insights into 
urban land-surface schemes; and real-time assessment. This research will 
improve state of  the art modelling in urban environments and make significant 
contributions to urban observational work, theory and modelling.


Prof Sue Grimmond
Dept. of Meteorology
University of Reading
Reading, RG6 6BB
T: 44 118 378 6248 – messages get emailed to me
O:Met Building (#58 on map) rm:2L77

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