Weather extremes under a changing climate: making better projections of future climate (CASE stud...

University of East Anglia
October 12 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Scientific significance

The most severe impacts of climate change arise through changes in the occurrence of extreme weather events, and yet attempts to increase society's resilience to such extremes is hampered by inadequate understanding of how these extremes are being modified under a changing climate.

This is a pressing and societally-important scientific issue.

This project will bring together two prominent climate change projection techniques (perturbed weather generators and pattern scaling) to obtain a next-generation scientific tool that combines advantages from both. You will benefit from working across the boundary between scientific research and industry, including an extended research visit at CASE-partner Atkins (, to develop improved projections of severe weather under climate change.

Research plan

  • Use databases of observations and climate model projections to identify changing weather extremes across the land masses of the world, and to evaluate how their characteristics change as a function of global warming.

  • Apply these findings to implement a weather generator (a statistical tool that generates sequences of realistic weather) across different climate regimes, and identify where the pattern of weather generator parameters can be scaled (pattern scaling) to represent future climate regimes.

  • There are many scientific challenges when applying this across the globe (e.g. representing extreme rainfall from hurricanes that only rarely affect a particular location) which you will address by considering both the meteorological setting and how these events can be represented better in a statistical sense.

  • These scientific developments will lead to the development of a new tool, suitable for and co-designed by expert practitioners working in industry who use knowledge about the changing risks from severe weather events.


You will gain transferable skills necessary to pursue a range of academic and non-academic careers: scientific computing tools and programming (e.g. ‘R'), the ability to use and interpret computer model outputs, industry experience and communication at technical and scientific levels. You will study in the world-renowned Climatic Research Unit (

Secondary supervisor: Dr Joanne Parker (Atkins).

Person specification

A good Honours degree in a relevant subject area (Environmental Sciences, Physics, Maths, Statistics, Geography or a related discipline), an aptitude for research, numerate and a clear communicator.


This project has been shortlisted for funding by the EnvEast NERC Doctoral Training Partnership, comprising the Universities of East Anglia, Essex and Kent, with over twenty other research partners. Undertaking a PhD with the EnvEast DTP will involve attendance at mandatory training events throughout the course of the PhD.

Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed on 12/13 February 2018.

Successful candidates who meet RCUK's eligibility criteria will be awarded a NERC studentship - in 2017/18, the stipend is £14,553. In most cases, UK and EU nationals who have been resident in the UK for 3 years are eligible for a stipend. For non-UK EU-resident applicants NERC funding can be used to cover fees, RTSG and training costs, but not any part of the stipend. Individual institutes may, however, elect to provide a stipend from their own resources.

EnvEast welcomes applicants from quantitative disciplines who may have limited background in environmental sciences. Excellent candidates will be considered for an award of an additional 3-month stipend to take appropriate advanced-level courses in the subject area.

For further information, please visit

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess

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