Impact of Blowing Snow on Polar ozone (YANG_UBAS18EE)

British Antarctic Survey
October 13 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

Scientific background

Sea ice in polar regions is facing rapid changes in a warming climate. For instance, the Arctic sea ice extent is currently decreasing and the Arctic is projected to be free of sea ice in summer within decades. The disappearance of ice that lasts through the summer means more young sea ice in the following winter and spring. This change affects not only physical processes in both the ocean and the atmosphere, but also atmospheric chemistry. For example, it has been proposed that wind-blown snow on the surface of young sea ice is a large source of sea salt aerosols (SSAs). SSAs contain various chemical compounds, such as bromine that can be released into the atmosphere affecting ozone.

Research Methodology

You will implement, in a high resolution regional model (WRF-Chem), an existing numerical scheme that describes production of SSA from wind-blown snow along with relevant halogen reactions. You will then use this updated model to investigate the impact of these processes on ozone and other key chemical compounds. The model will be validated using existing observations of SSA and bromine.


The student will receive training in the use of numerical models and analysis of model and measured data. This will provide them with many transferable skills related to computer programming and modelling; data handling, analysis and visualization; model and measurement uncertainties; and problem solving. You will go on training courses run by the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (e.g. Introduction to Atmospheric Science, Climate Modelling Summer School), and/or sit in on atmospheric science modules taught at UEA. You will receive a week-long WRF-Chem training course in the US (Boulder, Colorado) along with on-line tutorials and user guides; and be part of strong UK and European user communities. You will gain on-the-job learning by being immersed in active research groups both at UEA and the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, where this studentship will be mainly based.

Secondary supervisors: Professor Claire Reeves (UEA), Dr Anna Jones (British Antarctic Survey), Dr Alba Badia (UEA).


Ideally you will have a background in a numerical subject such as Physics, Applied Mathematics, Chemistry, Computer Science; qualifications in other relevant subjects would also be considered. A basic level of computer programming experience would be an advantage, but is not essential.


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.

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