Postdoctoral position on aerosol-cloud Interactions in East Antarctica

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 31 May 2021

The water cycle, cloud microphysics and cloud-aerosol-interactions are recognized as key elements of the Antarctic climate system. Clouds and aerosols play a significant role in the radiative energy budget and aerosols impact cloud microphysics because they are cloud condensation and ice nuclei. In addition, clouds are an important part of the hydrological cycle serving as the agent linking water vapour transport into Antarctica with precipitation. Because precipitation is the only source term in the surface mass balance (SMB) of the Antarctic ice sheet, it is one of the key factors affecting sea level. However, current knowledge on the interaction between clouds, precipitation and aerosol in the Antarctic is still limited, both from direct observations and from regional climate models.

At the Belgian Antarctic research station Princess Elisabeth (PES), an observatory for aerosol, cloud and precipitation properties exists. The synergy of the data sets has been exploited in first case studies on the effect of aerosols on cloud and precipitation processes with an improved aerosol-cloud-precipitation parameterisation of the regional climate model (RCM) COSMO-CLM2. First results show a strong sensitivity of cloud microphysics to the number of ice nucleating particles (INP), and to a less degree to the number of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). CLIMB proposes to do systematic measurements of INP at PES, combined with meteorological, aerosol and cloud microphysics observations – both made at PES and at the typical precipitating cloud level and improving the aerosol-cloud-precipitation parameterisation in a regional climate model for East Antarctica.

You will be working on an analysis of the cloud-aerosol effect in the regional climate model COSMO-CLM2. Moreover, you will be analysing data from the cloud observatory at Princess Elisabeth and will prepare the Antarctic campaign for the season 2021/2022. You are expected to publish this work in a scientific journal.


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