Postdoc position – Atmospheric hydrogen sources and sinks in the IPSL Earth System Model

Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement (LSCE), Gif-sur-Yvette, France
Closing date: 2 February 2023

LSCE is looking for a motivated post-doctoral scientist candidate to investigate the impact of a future large-scale hydrogen economy on atmospheric composition and climate.

Position description

Because of its high energy density, hydrogen can be used for efficient storage and transportation of energy from other sources. The development of a future large-scale hydrogen economy has the potential to increase the atmospheric source of H2 through leakage during production, transport, storage and use. Since hydrogen is not a greenhouse gas, hydrogen gas emissions do not lead to a global warming directly. However, hydrogen is involved in chemical reactions in the atmosphere which affect the lifetime and concentrations of other gases that have an impact on climate such as methane, ozone in both the troposphere and stratosphere, and water vapor. The soil uptake is a major sink for atmospheric hydrogen and its parameterization in current models is subject to large uncertainties.

This job position aims to improve the hydrogen budget simulation in an Earth System Model (ESM) based on the coupling of the atmosphere with an interactive soil and vegetation model. Based on the ORCHIDEE soil and vegetation model including the carbon and nitrogen pools, we will introduce an interactive representation of H2 exchange between the atmosphere and the surface. In particular, the model key soil variables will be used in order to represent the hydrogen soil uptake. In addition, we will focus on the simulation of Biological Nitrogen Fixation (BNF) in order to calculate the H2 natural emissions. The ESM, coupling the atmosphere (LMDZ-INCA component) and the surface (ORCHIDEE), will then be used in order to investigate the impact of land-use and climate changes on the simulated budget of hydrogen in the future.

The candidate is expected to contribute to the development, evaluation, and use of an atmospheric hydrogen model within the IPSL Earth System Model and in particular improve the exchanges of H2 between the atmosphere and the surface represented by the ORCHIDEE soil and vegetation model. The research will be performed at LSCE in collaboration with the key partners of the Norwegian Research Council funded project HYDROGEN and in particular with CICERO in Norway.


  • Programming skills, preferably in Python and Fortran.
  • Understanding and processing of global numerical model data.
  • Knowledge of atmospheric chemistry and/or soil-atmosphere exchanges.

Selection Criteria:

  • PhD in environmental sciences
  • Experience with programming and modelling
  • Autonomy, ability to work in a team and time management skills.
  • Skills for multidisciplinary team-based activities.
  • Ability to read, write and communicate in English.

What LSCE offers you:

LSCE is a world-class research laboratory established and a collaboration between CEA, CNRS and the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin (UVSQ). It is part of the Institute Pierre Simon Laplace (IPSL). LSCE hosts approximately 300 researchers, engineers and administrative staff including many PhD and master’s students. LSCE will provide the employee with the opportunity to work directly on advanced methods with researchers from the LSCE and other institutions.

More information & how to apply