18-month post-doctoral position at LOPS/IFREMER (Brest, France)

Understanding sea state variability over the last decades in the North-Atlantic

Supervised by Guillaume Dodet (LOPS/IFREMER) in collaboration with Fabrice Ardhuin (LOPS/CNRS), Florian Sevellec (LOPS/CNRS) and Marie-Noëlle Bouin (Météo-France)

Where : Laboratory for Ocean Physics and remote Sensing (LOPS) at IFREMER Brittany Center, Brest

Duration : 18 months, starting on January 2021

Project description:

Sea state is a key component of the coupling between the ocean and the atmosphere, the coasts and the sea ice. Understanding how sea state responds to climate variability and how it affects the different compartments of the Earth System, is becoming more and more pressing in the context of increased greenhouse gas emission, accelerated sea level rise and sea ice melting, and growing coastline urbanization. Since 2018, the European Space Agency is sponsoring the Sea State Climate Change Initiative project in order to deliver satellite-based sea state Climate Data Records to the climate science community. Satellite altimeter missions have been recording wind and wave information continuously with a quasi-global coverage since the early 90s. This data has already proven very useful for investigating multi-decadal trends of sea state parameters and their link with the atmospheric and oceanic circulation. Separating long-term trends from natural decadal variability in sea state records is challenging because the altimetry period only covers three decades. Decoupling inter-annual and decadal climate oscillations from sea state signal is therefore necessary to identify the potential signature of any external forcing induced by anthropogenic activities. In this project, we will investigate the contribution of dominant climate oscillations on the sea state signal in the North-Atlantic. A new multi-mission altimeter product that integrates improved altimeter retracking and inter-calibration methods is currently implemented at LOPS within the Sea State CCI project and will be used for this research topic. Inter-annual and decadal climate indices will be derived from EOF decomposition of atmospheric pressure fields from the ERA-5 reanalysis and the contribution of the different modes of variability will be explored through multi-variate regression analysis. This project will help improving our understanding of the sea state variability, by decoupling the natural and anthropogenic components of the signal, and exploring ocean-atmosphere interactions at multi-decade scales. This grant is funded by CNRS through the ESA Sea State Climate Change Initiative project and by the French SAD Brittany Regional post-doctoral grant, thanks to the support from the scientific consortium “Bretagne Teledetection” (GIS BreTel).


PhD. in physical oceanography, meteorology, climate science or related field;

Programming experience (python, matlab, fortran, …) for statistics and signal processing;

Good communication skills in English (spoken and written);

Candidates should have spent at least 18 months out of France in the last 3 years;

Candidates should apply on https://emploi.cnrs.fr/Offres/CDD/UMR6523-SOLGUE-010/Default.aspx before 28/09/2020.