PhD position: Space-borne and ground-based remote sensing of carbon monoxide and methane

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
Closing date: 17 June 2018

Since fall 2017 the ESA satellite Sentinel 5P is mapping carbon monoxide and methane from space down to city scales with daily global coverage. Absolute ground reference is provided by ground-based solar FTIR remote sensing performed at stations of the Total Carbon Column Observing Network, e.g. in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. However combining satellite to ground data requires taking the differing altitude sensitivities into account, and to use common and realistic a priori information in order to avoid intrinsic intercomparison errors.

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and its Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research/Atmospheric Environmental Research (KIT/IMK-IFU) in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, invites in Cooperation with the University of Augsburg (UniA) and its Faculty for Applied Computer Sciences (FAI) applications for a
PhD position in Atmospheric Sciences: Space-borne and ground-based remote sensing of carbon monoxide and methane.

The PhD student will contribute to

  • elaborate the best way to establish realistic climatological daily priori information for CO and CH4 vertical concentration profiles in the atmosphere above a set of ground sites around the globe
  • correct both satellite and ground-based remote sensing data using this improved common a priori profiles in order to minimize the intercomparison error for CO and CH4
  • perform intercomparison studies with the optimized data sets (satellite to ground)

The work will be done in close collaboration with other German and European research teams.

The candidate must demonstrate advanced knowledge in programming such as in C++, IDL or similar, and must have proven experience in Windows and Linux environments. A Master´s degree in a quantitative sciences discipline, preferably physics, meteorology, chemistry, informatics, or atmospheric, climate or environmental sciences is required. Knowledge of atmospheric physics or remote sensing is a clear advantage. Excellent oral and written skills in English are prerequisite.

KIT offers:
A vibrant and friendly, international research environment in the beautiful surroundings of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany ( The salary will be equivalent to the public service TV-L EG13 (65 %). The appointment will be for 3 years, and is expected to start as soon as possible. For more information please contact PD Dr. Ralf Sussmann (

Applications should be sent by email to PD Dr. Ralf Sussmann ( by 17 June 2018. Please send a detailed CV, copies of diplomas, Bachelor as well as Master’s degree, including transcript of notes/grades, a copy of the master thesis, a short (1-2 page) letter of motivation and contact details for 2 referees. The motivation letter should clearly provide evidence of your skills, and how you feel you can contribute to the main tasks.

KIT and UniA strive to achieve gender balance at all levels of employment. We therefore particularly encourage female candidates to apply for this position. With appropriate qualifications, applications from persons with handicaps will be treated with preference.

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