PhD position “Resolving the Antarctic sea-ice paradox” (m/f/d)


The extent of Antarctic sea-ice has not observably decreased over the previous four decades despite ongoing global warming. CMIP-style climate models do however simulate Antarctic sea-ice decline. The project’s main objective is to understand this discrepancy. Does freshwater input from Antarctic land ice or from the ice shelves matter, or do eddies in the Southern Ocean play a critical role? What are the roles of natural variability and trends in the westerly winds in an eddying ocean model? Four sensitivity experiments will be dedicated to these questions: Southern Ocean freshwater hosing; inclusion of ice shelf cavities; increasing Southern Ocean resolution to 3 km; and nudging of Southern Ocean winds.

Tasks  Evaluate existing AWI-CM3 CMIP-type historical experiments regarding Antarctic sea ice  Generate eddy-resolving ocean meshes for the unstructured ocean model FESOM  Run sensitivity experiments with AWI-CM3  Evaluate global consequences of changes in the sensitivity experiments around Antarctica  Publish three papers in peer-reviewed journals

Requirements  Master’s degree in oceanography, meteorology, physics, environmental sciences, or a related discipline  Programming experience in Fortran or C  Programming experience in shell scripting or Python  Experience in carrying out simulations with numerical models  Good skills in written and spoken English

Further Information

For further information, please contact Dr. Tido Semmler (; +49(471)4831-2287).

The position is limited to 3 years. The salary will be paid in accordance with the Collective Agreement for the Public Service of the Federation (Tarifvertrag des öffentlichen Dienstes, TVöD Bund), up to salary level 13 (66%). The place of employment will be Bremerhaven. All doctoral candidates will be members of AWI’s postgraduate program POLMAR or another graduate school and thus benefit from a comprehensive training program and extensive support measures.

The AWI is characterised by  our scientific success - excellent research.  collaboration and cooperation - intra-institute, national and international, interdisciplinary.  opportunities to develop – on the job, aiming at other positions and beyond AWI.  a culture of reconciling work and family – an audited and well-supported aspect of our operation  our outstanding research infrastructure – ships, stations, aircraft, laboratories and more.  an international environment – everyday contacts with people from all over the world.  having an influence – fundamental research with social and political relevance  flat hierarchies – facilitating freedom and responsibility  exciting science topics, with opportunities also in technology, administration and infrastructure

Equal opportunities are an integral part of our personnel policy. The AWI aims to increase the number of female employees and therefore strongly encourages qualified women to apply.

Disabled applicants will be given preference when equal qualifications are present. The AWI fosters the compatibility of work and family in various ways and has received a number of awards as a result of this engagement.

We look forward to your application!

Please submit your application, including (1) a letter of motivation, (2) a CV and copies of relevant certificates (master’s degree; training) and (3) two letters of recommendation or the contact information of two references, by February 21st, 2022. Electronic applications only. Interviews of selected candidates are planned between April 25 and 29, 2022 (unless otherwise specified) and expected to be online. Reference number 22/16/G/INSPIRES-b