ECMWF – Data Assimilation for atmospheric composition emissions

ECMWF, Bonn, Germany
Closing date: 30 August 2021

Senior Scientist or Scientist (2 positions) – Data Assimilation for atmospheric composition emissions

As part of the second phase of the CAMS programme, ECMWF is leading the development and implementation of exciting new Earth monitoring services to monitor anthropogenic emissions of CO2, CH4 and various atmospheric pollutants. Using satellite-based observations (retrievals) of atmospheric concentrations for deriving emission estimates requires the development, implementation, and testing of novel data assimilation techniques to extend the capabilities of the current ECMWF data assimilation system. Monitoring emissions is important by itself, but better observation-based emission estimates will also improve the CAMS atmospheric composition forecasts. It is thus a very important aspect for CAMS going forward.

A small team has been established, especially in the context of the Horizon2020 CHE and CoCO2 projects, to develop the prototype system for a new emission monitoring capacity within ECMWF’s Integrated Forecasting System (IFS). While the main focus of those two research projects is on CO2, the development is being extended to also include CH4 and pollutants that can be measured from space, such as NO2, CO, SO2, and aerosol.

To expand and strengthen the team, we are looking to fill two position by individuals who are keen to apply their scientific expertise to develop and deliver new operational services.

The Scientist (Grade A2) role will support the further development and testing of these new emission estimation capabilities as well as the technical efforts towards their seamless implementation in the ECMWF data assimilation system. The developments will partly rely on efforts and developments carried out at ECMWF and partly on externally procured contributions, which need to be contractually managed and integrated in the IFS. In addition, the successful applicant will support the implementation and monitoring of new satellite instruments in the CAMS operational forecasting system as well as related data assimilation developments. The successful applicant will work as part of a dedicated team that also collaborates with other teams at ECMWF as well as at partner institutes and contractors.

The Senior Scientist (Grade A3) role will, in addition to the tasks described above, support the Head of Section with the coordination and planning of the relevant activities. For this purpose, the successful applicant shall bring proven scientific leadership in the area of data assimilation and/or inverse modelling for greenhouse gases and/or air quality applications.

Candidates may be considered for the A3 Senior Scientist position where they demonstrate how their knowledge, skills and expertise meet the role requirements.

Both positions are in the CAMS Development Section of the Copernicus Department.

Main duties and key responsibilities

For both positions:

  • Contributing to the technical developments required for the implementation in the ECMWF IFS of new algorithms for the estimation of natural surface fluxes and anthropogenic emissions of atmospheric composition species
  • Contributing to the assessment and testing of emission and flux estimation algorithms in the framework of the IFS, with a view to their operational implementation
  • Implementing and testing of new satellite data streams of atmospheric composition in the IFS
  • Contributing to the further development of the general data assimilation methodology for atmospheric composition observations
  • Providing technical input into the contractual management of external CAMS contracts that are within the expertise of the successful applicant

Senior Scientist position, Grade A3

In addition to the above:

  • Providing support to the Head of Section with the coordination and planning of the activities related to estimating emissions and surface fluxes of atmospheric composition in the IFS

Other information

Scientist, Grade A2:
The successful candidate will be recruited at the A2 grade, according to the scales of the Co-ordinated Organisations and the annual salary will be EUR 75,178.92 net of tax.
Senior Scientist, Grade A3:
The successful candidate will be recruited at the A3 grade, according to the scales of the Co-ordinated Organisations and the annual salary will be EUR 92,770.32 net of tax.

These positions are assigned to the employment category STF-PL as defined in the Staff Regulations.

Full details of salary scales and allowances are available on the ECMWF website at, including the Centre’s Staff Regulations regarding the terms and conditions of employment.

Starting date: 1 November 2021, or as soon as possible thereafter.
Length of contract: Four years with the possibility of extension.

Successful applicants and members of their family forming part of their households will be exempt from immigration restrictions.


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