Postdoc position in ice sheet modeling

Updated: about 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 01 Jan 2022

Postdoctoral Research Fellow position

We offer a postdoctoral position at the Department of Earth Science  and the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research  within land ice modeling and sea level reconstructions. The position is for a fixed-term period of 3 years, financed by the Research Council of Norway. The appointment may be extended by up to one year (maximum 4 years in total) if the appointee is granted a research stay abroad. The planned start date is March 1, 2022 or soon thereafter.

About the project/work tasks

Our knowledge of medium- and long-term sea level changes depends to a large extent on modeling of ice sheets. Advances in this field have two major challenges: 1) The lack of a framework for model evaluation that includes observations from the interior of the ice sheet and 2) uncertainty related to the climate that caused previous variations in ice volume. Decades of ice core research and new airborne radar data give us a very detailed overview of the inner layers of the Greenland ice sheet, which contains answers to both problems. However, robust methods for merging these empirical data and numerical modeling do not currently exist.

The overall goal of the SINERGIS project is to develop such a model. The solution is an explicit representation of individual layers with accumulation and how they move through the ice in time (Born & Robinson, 2021). This enables a thorough evaluation and calibration of glacier models using ice cores and ice-penetrating radar, and to improve the assessment of past and future sea levels. The development will mainly take place in our working group at the University of Bergen, but also in collaboration with an international expert group. Among the most important results is a new method for model evaluation and reference simulations that can be used by many models.

The applicant will use our new model to develop an assimilation scheme for ice-penetrating radar data. Among the key results will be a reconstruction of previous accumulation rates that is completely independent of very uncertain simulations of the past climate. This work involves close collaboration with a second postdoctoral fellow and the supervision of a PhD student, as well as collaboration with international partners in Spain, Canada, Japan and the USA. Funds for short-term research stays and international workshops in Bergen are available. Upon appointment, the applicant can apply for an extended stay abroad of up to 12 months. We also have access to state-of-the-art infrastructure for supercomputing.

Born & Robinson, 2021, Modeling the Greenland englacial stratigraphy, doi: 10.5194/tc-15-4539-2021

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