April 2018
Message 100

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[Met-jobs] PhD Studentship - "AI for Megacities" - BAS/Cambridge

From "Hosking, Scott" <>
To "" <>
Cc "" <>
Date Fri, 27 Apr 2018 06:11:21 +0000

Dear all,


Please find below details of a fully funded PhD Studentship with the British Antarctic Survey and University of Cambridge, starting in October 2018.

AI for Megacities: Understanding the impact of climate extremes


Dr Scott Hosking (British Antarctic Survey), Dr Alex Archibald (Dept. Chemistry), Dr Emily Shuckburgh (British Antarctic Survey), and Dr Richard Turner (Dept. Engineering)

Industry (CASE) Partner: Dr Joel Gustafsson (Max Fordham)


Regional and local-scale extreme events (such as heat waves) will become more frequent over the next few decades, with rising mean temperature and increased climate variability. While climate models capture broad-scale spatial changes in climate phenomena, they struggle to represent extreme events on local scales. Such events are crucial to providing actionable and robust climate information to forecast, among other things, energy demand.

Around 50-55% of the world's population currently live in cities, accounting for 60-80% of energy consumption worldwide. Current projections estimate the proportion of population living in cities will rise to around 70% by the year 2050, concentrating power infrastructure further.  In addition, unique features of cities, such as the urban heat island effect can exacerbate extremes and fuel energy consumption (e.g. for air conditioning). Simultaneously, the occurrence of various types of extreme weather events is expected to increase, presenting a major source of uncertainty for forecasting power generation (e.g., wind turbine efficiencies) and power distribution (e.g., the complete destruction of pylons), and thereby threatening energy security.

Project summary

The student will apply Bayesian statistics and machine learning in new and innovative ways to help transform the field of environmental data science. There is an abundance of data relevant to the forecasting of power demand (e.g., details of the built environment, socio-economic forecasts) and also human health (mortality rates). However, such data are not routinely incorporated into future climate risk projections.

The student will work closely with members of the Cambridge Machine Learning group and help develop a climate downscaling framework (incorporating probability distribution modelling) to improve the representation of high-impact climate events within localised urban environments. It is expected that the student will provide intellectual input into the project design throughout the project, and lead their own research activities on a daily-to-weekly basis.


Full details can be found here:





Dr Scott Hosking | Climate Scientist | British Antarctic Survey | NERC

High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET

Email: | Tel: +44 (0)1223 221499 | Skype: jshosking


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