PhD position in Mesoscale Convective Systems under Climate Change over the Alps

University of Graz, Austria
Closing date: 28 June 2024

The Wegener Center for Climate and Global Change at the University of Graz offers a 3-year PhD position (m/f/d) in Mesoscale Convective Systems under Climate Change over the Alps.

Project Description
Mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) are large, organised and long-lived clusters of thunderstorms. They produce hazards such as heavy rainfall and severe winds, and are a key contributor to climate risks in southern and central Europe. The Alps play a particular role with respect to MCSs as their topography, first, affects systems moving into the Alps, and, second, may trigger new systems. The main aim of the MoCCA project is to advance our understanding of MCSs related to the Alps in order to enable more trustworthy projections of the severe rain and wind hazards associated with these events as a basis for improving climate risk assessments. Overall, MoCCA will contribute to high level activities on climate risks by the World Climate Research Programme.

Your Role
The specific work of the PhD student will encompass a process-oriented evaluation of a hierarchy of climate models; quantifying future changes in MCSs and the associated uncertainties, including projected changes in the large-scale environments and a range of MCS characteristics; and the simulation of storylines of observed events with a km-scale regional climate model to understand the influence of, e.g., sea surface temperature, topography, thermal wind systems, and climate change on these events. As part of the project, the PhD student will spend an extended research stay at either NCAR (Boulder/US) or ETH Zurich.

Your Profile
The student working on the MoCCA project will have an MSc or comparable degree in meteorology/atmospheric sciences or a related subject.

The offer
Payment will be according to a 75% position of the Austrian Research Fund (75% of 50.103,20 EUR per year). Preferred starting date is October 2024. The student will join the regional climate research group, a young and dynamic team led by Prof. Douglas Maraun and Prof. Albert Osso working on all aspects of regional climate change. The group maintains an extensive international network, e.g. within WCRP, CORDEX and IPCC, and offers possibilities to engage in international activities. The project provides funding for an extended research stay and visits to international conferences and workshops. The University of Graz offers a structured doctoral education and many possibilities for personal development, in particular for females. The University also provides support for young families.