School of Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics
Project Title: Improving South American seasonal climate forecasts: the EUROBRISA EURO-Brazilian Leverhulme research network
Academic Supervisor: Prof. David Stephenson, School of Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics.
Closing Date: 10 April 2007
Renumeration: Maintenance grant of GBP 12,600 p.a. plus university fees at the UK/EU rate for 3 years provided by the Leverhulme foundation. Conditions apply*.
This studentship is funded by the Leverhulme network project EUROBRISA (http://www.cptec.inpe.br/~caio/EUROBRISA). The EUROBRISA project aims to:
- Produce improved seasonal climate forecasts for South America using new advances in both coupled ocean-atmosphere modelling and statistical calibration and combination of multi-model ensemble forecasts;
- Strengthen collaboration and promote exchange of expertise and information between European and South American climate scientists/forecasters;
- Develop forecast products for non-profitable governmental use in South America (e.g. reservoir management, hydropower production, and agriculture).
Seasonal climate forecasts are forecasts of the expected climatic conditions in the forthcoming 3-6 months. The proposed network will establish an unprecedented world-leading operational seasonal forecasting system for South America. The new system will produce the best possible forecasts by using the latest multi-model approaches to combine an ensemble of predictions from state-of-the-art coupled models from the Met Office and other European weather services with predictions from the existing South American forecasting systems. The latest multi-model statistical approaches developed by the student, Professor Stephenson (U. of Exeter), Dr. Coelho (The Brazilian Centre for Weather Prediction and Climate Studies, CPTEC) and network partners, will be used operationally to combine and calibrate the forecasts.
The Studentship is a 3-year PhD position starting at the U. of Exeter in October 2007 to be supervised by Prof. David Stephenson. With support from Prof. Stephenson and Dr Coelho, the student will help facilitate the network and promote interactions, knowledge and data transfer among the multi-national set of participating institutions. This will require a combination of research and administration that will include:
- developing statistical methodology for the calibration and combination of seasonal climate forecasts;
- evaluating the skill of ECMWF, U.K. Met Office and MÃ©tÃ©o-France seasonal climate forecasts over South America and provide feedback on this to partners;
- assisting the Principal Applicant co-ordinate the network so that the planned activities are performed accordingly by each partner;
- organizing research workshops for the network (a 3-day workshop each year: December 2007 and 2009 at CPTEC, Brazil and December 2008 at University of Exeter, U.K) and producing annual reports of the work produced by the network;
- Visiting European and Brazilian network partners to foster collaboration. One long-term visit per year of the network facilitator (the PhD student) to CPTEC in Brazil to coordinate network activities and plan future work. The actual length of each visit is envisaged to be around 2-4 weeks.
This involvement will provide a young scientist with excellent experience and training in how to conduct cutting-edge international climate research.
Applicants should have a First Class UK Honours degree, MSc or equivalent in a relevant discipline such as climate/meteorology or environmental statistics. Knowledge of R programming and Bayesian statistics would be an advantage.
*Value of Award:
Maintenance grant of GBP 12,600 p.a. plus university fees at the UK/EU rate for 3 years provided by the Leverhulme foundation. Due to funding restrictions this studentship is available only to UK/EU citizens who have been resident in the UK for at least the last three years. For further information please contact:
Harrison Building (Room 253)
University of Exeter
North Park Road
Exeter EX4 4QF
Tel: 01392 269236