Vacant Ph.D. Position Causes and Consequences of the Extreme Climate Variability in the high North Atlantic

Job Description: The winter surface air temperature at Svalbard (78 ºN) has increased by 4 degrees C since 1912, which is one of the largest observed temperature changes on the Earth. The temperature changes are accompanied by considerable ice edge retreat as well as intensification of the storm activity. Changes have culminated in 2006 with April being 12 dergr. C warmer than on average and ice edge retreating by 500 km by September. It is not a simple task however to assign a single set of causes responsible for the obvious polar amplification of the global warming in this area. The high North Atlantic is the region with significant interannual and inter-decadal variability affected by a number of interdependent processes. The variability is mostly confined within a few hundred metres near the earth’s surface and that the mid-troposphere variability is mostly affected by long-range teleconnections. The region is rich in natural off-shore resources (oil, gas, fisheries) and might play an important role for a new North Sea Route. Therefore understanding of the pattern and degree of the future climate change is of urgent importance.

The proposed Ph.D. grant is aimed to combine the analysis of available observational data from regular, in situ and irregular, field campaign measurements with state-of-the-art climate, meso-scale and turbulence simulations. The analysis should quantify the heat budget in the region. The study will result in better understanding of causes and patterns of the observed changes, which could be further extrapolated to produce more accurate prediction of the future climate in the region.

Eligible Candidates: The position is open for candidates from all countries. An eligible candidate has graduated at a recognizable university with a degree eligible to pursue a Ph.D. programme in Norway (usually MSc or Diploma rated among 10% of the best graduates). Women and residents of Norway are encouraged to apply. The candidate must have a strong background in geosciences (meteorology, oceanography or related disciplines) with advanced knowledge of physics, mathematics (data analysis), and computational fluid mechanics. Familiarity with boundary layer theories, multivariate and non-parametric statistical analysis, single-column meteorological models will be an advantage. The Ph.D. will be granted at the University of Bergen, but the candidate will work at the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center ( in Bergen, Norway. The candidate is required to collaborate internationally and to spend a considerable amount of time at the Svalbard Science Centre (Longyearbyen, Svalbard) and at International Arctic Research Centre (Fairbanks, Alaska). Hence good communication skills in English and open mindedness are necessary.

Applications must be submitted by e-mail and consist of (i) a complete overview of education and previous practice (CV); (ii) a letter explaining candidate’s motivation and background (maximum one page); (iii) list of publications or/and abstract of the MSc thesis; (iv) PDF-copies of certificates and diplomas; (v) as well as names, phones and e-mail addresses of 3 academic references.

Contract Type: Temporary, 3 years Ph.D. position
Deadline for Applications: 01/04/2007 Start Date: 01/09/2007 Duration: 36 months
Salary: The salary is according to Norwegian standards (about 300 kNOK per year).
How to Apply: e-mail to
Contact Person: Dr. Igor Esau (
Place: Bergen, Norway

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