Postdoctoral Fellow on Bounding the Earth´s Climate Sensitivity

Postdoctoral Fellow on Bounding the Earth´s Climate Sensitivity

Stockholm University - Department of Meteorology

Stockholm, Sweden

Project description

The Earth's temperature response to increasing CO2 is key to understanding our past changing climate and for projecting into the future. But unfortunately the strength of the response is not well constrained. The latest IPCC report states a likely range of 1.5 to 4.5 degrees equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) for a doubling of atmospheric CO2, but with an up to 10 percent likelihood of it being above 6 degrees. In particular the risks involved with Earth possibly having a high equilibrium climate sensitivity are concerning, both scientifically as well as practically.

It is the purpose of the five-year highECS European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant project to rein in the upper bound on Earth's climate sensitivity. The project has a strong focus on what Earth's past can teach us, and seeks to understand what models might be missing, with an overarching goal of a physical reconciliation of the evidence. The project is envisioned, but not bound, to proceed along three lines:

  • Confronting ideas of high ECS with the past. Here a state-of the art climate model is tailored to exhibit various extreme cloud feedbacks, and then run into historical and pre-historical warm and cold climates, in part to test their validity, but with the ultimate goal to build confidence in emergent constraints of ECS. An important component here is the interpretation of proxies as evidence for past climates.
  • Time- and state-dependent feedbacks. Here we seek to build the physical foundation of how climate change feedback mechanisms may be different in warmer or colder climates, and we will strive to quantify how patterns of warming arising when the climate is out of equilibrium (such as currently is the case) may impact the radiation balance.
  • Missing or biased feedbacks. Climate models have strong positive tropical infrared feedbacks, however, they systematically underestimate the infrared emission response to space – as observed from satellites – related to natural variations in surface temperature. In this part we will test ideas of why that might be the case, and relate these short-term biases to the long-term climate feedbacks.

The proposed work can focus on one or more of these topics, or be supportive of the overall goal of the project. As tools fellows have options to use the for example the MPI-ESM1.2 climate model and the ICON global cloud resolving model running on Swedish supercomputers, but are certainly not bound to using these.

Main responsibilities

Here we are looking for one or two postdoctoral fellows to work within the highECS project team. Candidates are expected to conduct research which contributes to the project objective as described above.

Qualification requirements

Postdoctoral positions are appointed primarily for purposes of research. Applicants are expected to hold a Swedish doctoral degree or an equivalent degree from another country.

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Stockholm University - Department of Meteorology     Sweden     Academic     Earth Science     Environment     Meteorology     Postdoc    

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EuroJobsites is a UK registered company number: 4694396 VAT number: GB 880 9055 04

Registered address: EuroJobsites Ltd, Unit 8, Kingsmill Business Park, Kingston Upon Thames, London, KT1 3GZ, United Kingdom

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