Postdoctoral Scholar Opportunity in Confronting Climate Model storm track trends with Observations at UChicago

Postdoctoral Scholar Opportunity in Confronting Climate Model storm track trends with Observations at UChicago

Postdoctoral Scholar Opportunity in Confronting Climate Model storm track trends with Observations at UChicago

The Department of Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago invites highly motivated and creative postdoctoral scholars to apply for a postdoctoral scholarship focused on confronting climate model storm track trends with observations. For over 40 years, and through several rounds of IPCC reports, the climate science community has made projections of long-term climate change under specific emissions scenarios. The signals of climate change have now begun to emerge from the noise in observations and reanalysis data, although internal variability still makes a quantitative assessment of forced trends in observations challenging. The successful candidate will work closely with a team of scientists from UChicago, NCAR and Princeton University/GFDL to address the following questions as they relate to extratropical storm tracks and their associated extreme events: Are the trends in observations, reanalysis data and climate model projections consistent? If inconsistencies exist, can we relate this to deficiencies in the representation of forced trends or of internal variability? What physical mechanisms underlie the emerging signals? The research will leverage the wealth of existing observation, reanalysis and climate model data to answer the questions. 

The successful candidate will closely collaborate with Prof. Tiffany Shaw (UChicago), Dr. Isla Simpson (NCAR), Dr. Pu Lin(Princeton U./GFDL), Dr. Zhihong Tan (Princeton U./GFDL). The postdoctoral scholar will spend 1 month per year at NCAR in Boulder, CO visiting Dr. Simpson to collaborate on the proposed research. The initial position is for one year, with the possibility of renewal for an additional two years, subject to satisfactory progress and funding availability. The salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. While the start date can be flexible, the position will become available from December 1, 2023 and will be open until filled. 


Analyze trends in a large set of observational and model data sets.

Use physical frameworks to understand trends in observations and models, including interpreting discrepancies between observed and modeled trends.

Develop testable hypotheses to advance our understanding of emerging climate signals.

Present research findings at conferences and seminars. 

Publish results in high-quality, peer-reviewed journals.

Minimum qualifications: 

Completed a doctoral degree in atmospheric science, climate science, fluid dynamics, or a related field at the time of appointment. However, we will seriously consider any outstanding candidates from other fields with rigorous training in mathematics and physics if they are strongly motivated to study the atmosphere and climate.

Demonstrated ability to address significant scientific questions using the scientific method. 

Demonstrated excellence in written and verbal communication skills.

Preferred qualifications: 

Strong background in at least one of the following areas: climate change, atmospheric/fluid dynamics, or machine learning. 

Capacity to analyze large datasets such as output from high-resolution models or observations. 

Proficiency in numerical analysis and high-performance computing. 

Experience with atmosphere/climate models of various complexities.

Strong planning and organizational skills, with the capacity to effectively prioritize multiple tasks, set clear deadlines, and consistently meet them.

Applications/How to apply:

Please email Prof. Tiffany Shaw ( with the following documents: (1) a cover letter, (2) a curriculum vitae, and (3) the names and contact information of three references. We will begin reviewing applications on November 15, 2023, and the position will remain open until filled.

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