Navigation and service

Advertising division: IEK-7 - Stratosphere
Reference number: 2018-206


The Institute for Energy and Climate Research, Stratosphere (IEK-7), studies chemical, microphysical and dynamical processes in the upper troposphere and stratosphere and the role they play in the climate system. We are seeking a new Ph.D. student in the ''Water vapor & Cloud'' group. The group has a strong expertise in aircraft in-situ observations of cirrus clouds and their process modeling. The Ph.D. work will be performed within a three-year program of the Graduate School HITEC.

We are offering a

PhD position “Investigation of tropical cirrus clouds with CLaMS-Ice simulation in combination with aircraft measurements (DFG project PIRE)”

Your Job:

Optically thin ice clouds (cirrus) often form in the tropical tropopause layer (TTL), one of the least-understood parts of the atmosphere at an altitude of 14-18 km. The aim of the Ph.D. project is to track the ice formation mechanisms and occurrences of cirrus clouds in the TTL. To this end, in-situ airborne and AIDA cloud chamber measurements of cirrus microphysical properties and humidity will be combined with realistic simulations of cirrus cases with the detailed microphysical model MAID. The results will be integrated into the fast model ClaMS-Ice to simulate the cirrus cloud appearance on a large scale. A second important aspect is to provide cirrus case simulations reproducing laboratory AIDA cloud experiments to the PIRE modeling community as a test bed to compare different ice nucleation schemes.

Specific tasks:

  • Cirrus model development: Extension of the CLaMS-Ice model by a 3D particle sedimentation scheme which allows ice crystals to fall and redistribute water to lower altitudes
  • AIDA cloud chamber: Perfoming cirrus case experiments and corresponding simulations in order to optimize the ice nucleation schemes embedded in MAID and ClaMS-Ice as well as others used by the PIRE modeling community
  • TTL cirrus case studies: For research flights, performed during the StratoClim campaign in the TTL over Nepal, in 2017, air mass trajectories are calculated that end at the aircraft’s flight paths for flights where cirrus clouds are detected. The observed cirrus are then reproduced with the detailed model MAID by systematically varying the initial conditions of the simulations until the simulations match best the observations best
  • TTL large scale simulations: Large scale RDF (reverse domain filling) simulations will now be performed with CLaMS-Ice (including ice particle sedimentation) in the TTL region; in combination with the knowledge gained by the case studies, the differing TTL ice formation mechanisms and resulting cirrus types will be explored on a statistical basis

Your Profile:

  • Master degree in meteorology, physics, computational science, environmental sciences or a related field with good final grade (German system equivalent 2.0 or better)
  • Experience with computer programming (Python, Fortran, IDL, …) and Unix environment are essential
  • Experimental skills and technical understanding of atmospheric measurements are of advantage

Our Offer:

  • excellent scientific environment and technical facilities
  • opportunities of being part of the national and international scientific community
  • broad spectrum of training in the Graduate School HITEC and the Forschungszentrum
  • International, interdisciplinary working environment on an attractive research campus, ideally situated between the cities of Cologne, Düsseldorf, and Aachen
  • A comprehensive further training programme, including English language courses
  • Limited for 3 years
  • Salary and social benefits in conformity with the provisions of the Collective Agreement for the Civil Service (TVöD).

Forschungszentrum Jülich aims to employ more women in this area and therefore particularly welcomes applications from women.

We also welcome applications from disabled persons.