Post-Doctoral Researcher – Bangor University


Applications are invited for the above full-time research position to investigate the importance of Arctic ice and freshwater in altering upper ocean properties and sea surface temperature (and therefore air-sea heat fluxes and atmospheric circulation) in the subpolar basin, Nordic Seas and Barents Sea.

This position has been funded by the Natural Environment Research Council as part of the ArctiCONNECT project that seeks to resolve the connections between rapid Arctic warming and European climate and weather. The researcher will join the School of Ocean Sciences physical oceanography group, and a much wider consortium of investigators around the UK from the fields of meteorology, climate dynamics, polar and subpolar oceanography. The research to be carried out by the successful applicant will contribute to Objectives 2 and 3 of ArctiCONNECT that seek to identify the ocean pathways by which climate-impacting signals are communicated from the Arctic to the subpolar basins and vice versa, and establish the coupled-interactions of these regions. Specifically, the Bangor researcher will be responsible for retrieval and analysis of Arctic oceanography datasets including reanalysis products, gridded hydrography, ice-tethered profiler data and numerical model output.

Candidates should possess or be close to the completion of a PhD in Physical Oceanography or a related discipline such as meteorology, or possess equivalent experience. Previous experience in the analysis of large oceanographic or atmospheric data sets, including reanalysis and/or general circulation model output is essential.

The successful candidate will be expected to commence their position on 1 June 2021, or as soon as possible thereafter and the post is available until 31/05/2023.

Please submit a 2-page CV in addition to the completed application form.

Informal enquiries about the post may be made to Dr Yueng-Djern Lenn (y.lenn@bangor.ac.uk).

Applications will only be accepted via our online recruitment website, jobs.bangor.ac.uk. However, in cases of access issues due to disability, paper application forms are available by telephoning 01248 383865.

Closing date for applications: 26 April 2021.

Committed To Equal Opportunities.

Overview

The School of Ocean Sciences (SOS), located on the beautiful shores of the Isle of Anglesey, is a multidisciplinary department with a focus on continental shelf sciences and a strong history of international research excellence and collaboration. Core research interests include oceanography, marine biology and ecology, aquaculture & fisheries, biogeochemistry and climate change science. This position will be based in the SOS – a state-of-the-art facility that acts as a hub for cross-disciplinary research, reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of marine science in the College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering.

The Project

In the warming climate, the Arctic region is undergoing dramatic changes in all components of the coupled atmosphere-ocean-ice-land system. Half of the Arctic summer sea-ice cover has disappeared in only 40 years [Notz &Stroeve, 2017]. Greenland Ice Sheet melt has accelerated in the past 30 years, with ~3,800 billion tonnes of ice lost between 1992 and 2018 [Shepherd et al., 2019]. The Arctic lower atmosphere is warming at more than twice the rate of the global average, a phenomenon known as Arctic amplification [Screen& Simmonds, 2010]. Observed changes in the ocean include the recent freshening of the Beaufort Gyre, by 40% from 2003 to 2018 [Proshutinsky et al., 2019], and the ‘Atlantification’ of the Barents Sea [Barton, Lenn, Lique, 2018] and of the Eastern Arctic Ocean [Polyakov et al., 2017].

Past work has indicated that Arctic amplification might affect Europe, but a clear picture of how is still lacking. Consequently, the 2019 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Oceans and Cryosphere concluded “changes in Arctic sea ice have the potential to influence midlatitude weather, but there is low confidence in the detection of this influence for specific weather types”. A major impediment to confidence in the far-flung effects of Arctic amplification is that the physical mechanisms are poorly understood. The rapidity of the changes in the Arctic in recent decades poses a particular challenge for separating any potentially forced signal from the large natural variability of the climate system. Hence, there is an urgent need for dynamical considerations, rooted in physical theory, to overcome these knowledge gaps.

To address these challenges this interdisciplinary project draws together experts in meteorology, climate dynamics, polar and subpolar oceanography from eight institutions across the UK, including the UK Met Office. We propose to untangle the impacts of various atmospheric and oceanic drivers and coupled interactions through six project objectives that will investigate atmospheric pathways (O1) and oceanic pathways (O2) by which rapid change is communicated from the Arctic to the North Atlantic and back, coupled interactions (O3), state dependence (O4), extreme weather (O5) and European Hazards (O6). The Bangor position will focus on deliverables in O2 and O3, and will be jointly supervised by Dr Yueng-Djern Lenn at Bangor and Dr Helen Johnson, Oxford University, in collaboration with Dr Camille Lique at IFREMER, France.

Purpose of the Job

The post is part of an established team at SOS working in the area of Arctic oceanography. The postholder will determine the importance of Arctic ice and freshwater in altering upper ocean properties and SST (and therefore air-sea heat fluxes and atmospheric circulation) in the subpolar basin, Nordic Seas and Barents Sea. This will be achieved by applying a potential energy anomaly (phi) analysis to establish the local impact of different processes (ice melt, river input, wind, radiative fluxes, tidal mixing, lateral advection…) on the buoyancy content of the water-column and its changes. The phi-analysis will enable the mapping out of where and how ice and Arctic freshwater export are important in determining upper ocean properties and sea surface temperature (SST), with the potential to influence (i) the atmosphere, and (ii) the watermass transformations important for the overturning circulation further south. The datasets to be used include a high-resolution regional ocean-ice simulation or state estimate, in combination with observed SSTs, ITP profiles and reanalysis data. This analysis will enable the post-holder to quantify the contribution of the various processes to recent changes, and assess their representation in the current generation of coupled climate models.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

• Gathering and analysis of data. This will include the retrieval and analysis of several large oceanographic datasets, including reanalysis products, gridded hydrography, in situ ice-tethered profiler data and numerical ocean model output.

• Delivering research outcomes through: collaborations with other project scientists and project partners, participation in project workshops, publication of peer-reviewed articles and presentations at national and international conferences.

• Administration of the research project: including coordinating the project to meet aims and objectives.

• Other duties and responsibilities specific to the role could include: advise and collaborate with Masters and PhD students within the research programme.

Other Duties and Responsibilities

• The post holder will be expected to participate in performance review and developmental activities.

• The post holder will be expected to comply with the University’s equality policies and statements, Dignity at Work and Study Policy and the University’s Welsh Language Scheme.

• The post holder has a general and legal duty of care in relation to health, safety and wellbeing and must take all reasonable steps to ensure a safe and healthy working environment for him/her self and for other members of staff, students and visitors affected by his/her actions or inactions. The post holder is also required to comply with all applicable health and safety policies, procedures and risk assessments.

• The post holder must comply with relevant legal and financial policies and procedures and be aware of their responsibilities in terms of the legal requirements of their posts.

Person Specification

Qualifications/Training
Essential
• Hold or be close to the completion of a PhD (physical oceanography or a related discipline such as meteorology), or possess equivalent experience relevant to the role

Experience/Knowledge
Essential
• An understanding of the fundamentals of fluid dynamics and/or physical oceanography
• Experience with computer programming, such as MATLAB and Python.
• Demonstrated ability to plan and conduct quantitative analysis, and to develop and test hypotheses
• Experience in analysing large oceanographic or atmospheric data sets, e.g. reanalysis products, gridded hydrography
• Experience in using ocean model output
• Proven track record of publications in quality journals
• Proven track record of conference presentations

Desirable
• Experience in running numerical ocean models
• Background in polar oceanography

Skills/Abilities
Essential
• Ability to work and communicate effectively across a network of researchers within the programme
•  Demonstrated understanding of the bilingual nature of the institution and area.

Desirable
• Demonstrate proven project management skills
• Demonstrate interpersonal skills

General

The University is committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity and to creating an inclusive working environment. We believe this can be achieved through attracting, developing, and retaining a diverse range of staff from many different backgrounds. We strive to develop a workforce from all sections of the community regardless of sex, gender identity, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, trans identity, relationship status, religion or belief, caring responsibilities, or age. We promote and facilitate the use of the Welsh language through our progressive Welsh Language Policy. We comply with the Welsh Language Standards and are committed to equality of opportunity. You are welcome to apply for any job in English or Welsh and all applications submitted will be treated equally.

We are a member of Advance HE’s Athena SWAN Gender Equality charter and hold a Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to and progress towards gender equality within the University’s policies, practices, and culture. We are proud to be a Disability Confident employer.

All members of staff have a duty to ensure their actions are in line with the overall environmental aims of the University and minimise their environmental impact.

All offers are made subject to proof of eligibility to work in the UK and receipt of satisfactory references.


All candidates must meet the requirements of UK ‘right to work’ requirements *** If you require Home Office permission to work in the UK, or need to switch your visa status in order to take this job, please note that following the introduction by the Government of immigration limits on skilled workers we recommend you use the following link to information about the routes into employment and to check eligibility requirements: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/

Please note that, in the event of applications being received from candidates on the University’s Redeployment Register with a reasonable skills match to the post specification, these applicants will be given prior consideration. In addition to those on the Redeployment Register, staff members who have been directly affected by the current restructuring exercise will also be given prior consideration. 

https://jobs.bangor.ac.uk/details.php.en?id=QLYFK026203F3VBQB7V68LOTX&nPostingID=5466&nPostingTargetID=5859&mask=stdext&lg=UK

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