January 2018
Message 10

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[Met-jobs] Funded PhD examining how past Antarctic ice sheets controlled the climate of Antarctica

From William Roberts <>
To "" <>
Date Thu, 4 Jan 2018 09:38:24 +0000

We are currently advertising for a funded PhD position that will look at how the Antarctic ice sheets can influence the climate. This will involve some climate modelling and comparison with climate proxy data.

Full details can be found:

This project will unravel the details of how the shape of the Antarctic Ice Sheets influenced the climate over Antarctica during the last ice age.

One of the key predictions of coupled climate models is “polar amplification”, the idea that when the planet warms or cools as a whole, the polar regions warm or cool more than the rest of the planet. Understanding the amplitude of this effect tells us much about the interaction of various feedbacks in the climate system. The Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), has been used as a test case for understanding polar amplification because of a relatively large number of climate proxy records of the period; a large number of coupled climate model simulations have also been made of this era. The modelling results, however, show that in Antarctica exactly how much and where the temperature changed depends upon the shape of the ice sheets. Since we do not know exactly what the shape of the ice sheets were at the LGM it is difficult to understand whether any of the mismatch that is seen between the models and the observations is due to failings in the models or an incorrect ice sheet topography. In this project you shall assess how the ice sheet topography affects the climate over Antarctica at the LGM to better understand this second effect.

Using different reconstructions of the ice sheet topography and a hierarchy of climate models you will investigate how these ice sheets affect climate variables such as temperature, winds, cloudiness or energy fluxes. Comparing the results of these model simulations with temperature and ice core oxygen isotope records from around the continent you will gain an understanding of what shape of the ice sheet can best fit these observations and, crucially, why. You will thus be able to assess which of the ice sheets are most consistent with the observed climate. By understanding the processes which alter the climate, you will be able to apply the lessons learned in this project to other periods when the Antarctic ice sheets were different to today.

This studentship will based at Northumbria University. Closing date Sunday, January 28, 2018

Feel free to contact me with any questions.



School of Geographical Sciences
University of Bristol
University Rd.

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