April 2019
Message 48

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[Met-jobs] Atmospheric inversion of urban CO2 emissions (2-year postdoctoral position)

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Date Tue, 9 Apr 2019 11:38:13 +0200

General background

Although nations committed to major emission reductions of greenhouse gases (GHG) under the Paris Agreement, global fossil fuel emissions increased again by more than 2% in 2018, primarily due to the rapid growth in energy demand from emerging economies and some of the largest developed countries. As nations struggle to reduce their emissions, large metropolitan areas took the lead organized around large international consortiums to decrease their own contributions to fossil fuel emissions (e.g. C40 Cities). The most common approach to estimate GHG emissions rely primarly on invetories and energy production and consumption statistics, typically self-reported. To support the creation of inventories, approaches based on atmospheric data, called atmosheric inversions, a semi-independent estimate of the GHG emissions, were evaluated as a complementary approach to inventories based on socio-economic data. But atmospheric approaches are also subject to large uncertainties, particularly from the transport models used to assimilate concentration measurements, and due to the lack of information related to uncertainties in inventories. As atmospheric approaches are nothing else than statistical optimizations, uncertainties play a key role and have to be estimated accurately. The postdoctoral researcher will work on improving the quantification of uncertainties in atmospheric inversion methods including uncertainties in the inventories of GHG emissions from large metropolitan areas (e.g. Paris, Indianapolis, Los Angeles)

Research activities

Two research topics will be developed in parallel with, on one hand, the development of an urban inversion system of CO2 fossil fuel emissions on multiple metropolitan areas, and on the other hand a better estimation of uncertainties in inventories in collaboration with experts creating these inventories. The inversion system will be constructed around a mesoscale meteorological model (WRF-CO2), an adjoint model (Lagrangian), and a Bayesian optimization system. The error analysis will be performed with the support of an international rogram called Integrated Greenhouse Gas Information System (IG3IS) funded by the World Meteorological Organization focusing on characterizing uncertainties in urban inversion systems. Severel research groups are engaged in an inter-comparison exercise to assess the precision and accuracy of high-resolution inversions. The postdoctoral researcher will collect results from different research teams and analyze the statistical significance of the results.
For the research related to inventories of emissions, the goal is to determine as best as possible the uncertainties affecting both the spatial and temporal components in CO2 emissions. In collaboration with research groups of experts specialized in producing such inventories (e.g. Northern Arizona University, Joint Research Center), the objective is to generate reliable estimates of uncertainties that can be used in atmospheric inversions, based on expert knowledge and available statistical metrics. High-resolution inventories are available for multiple cities around the world such as Paris, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, or Ozaka.


Candidates with experience in regional or urban atmospheric modeling, carbon cycle science, and/or data assimilation will be preferentially considered. Experience in programming and data analysis (Python, Fortran, Matlab/IDL, PHP, Web, etc.) and code development under Linux environments is desired.
The position is part of the project CIUDAD, funded by the program "Make Our Planet Great Again". The position will be advised by Dr. Thomas Lauvaux at the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement in France. Applications should be sent as soon as possible and before 1 May 2019, including a cover letter, a CV and contact information of two references. Applications should be submitted through the CNRS portal:


LSCE is a leading laboratory in environmental and climate sciences located in the South of Paris, France. It is part of the Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, a large consortium of research laboratories in the Paris area. The postdoctoral researcher will join a team of international experts in carbon cycle sciences and more specifically atmospheric inversion techniques (SATINV).

Additional information

Reference : UMR8212-THOLAU-002
Workplace : GIF SUR YVETTE
Date of publication : Monday, April 08, 2019
Type of Contract : FTC Scientist
Contract Period : 24 months
Expected date of employment : 1 August 2019
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : between 2 600 and 3 100 euros (before tax) monthly depending on the experience of the candidate
Desired level of education : PhD
Experience required : Indifferent

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