2 year postdoc position WRF in New Caledonia

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2 year postdoc position WRF in New Caledonia

Postby menkes » Tue Sep 16, 2014 2:56 pm

Regional downscaling of climate change models in the South Pacific
Opening of a 2-year post-doc position at IRD, Noumea, New Caledonia (South Pacific)


The climate of the South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ) one of the world’s largest convective area of the planet (Vincent et al., 2010) in which lie many vulnerable islands is poorly understood and simulated by climate models such as those used in the IPCC exercises (Brown et al., 2012). In addition, due to their coarse resolution, the vast majority of these climate models do not include small Pacific Islands. Hence, for mountainous island such as New Caledonia, South Pacific, understanding the effects of climate change at local scale is a real challenge. Typically, the understanding of the main local atmospheric envelope requires model resolution of ~10 km, which requires dedicated regional model downscaling, which is the general context of the present position.
Here, we first aim at comparing two regional atmospheric simulations for New Caledonia for the present day but also in a climate change mode, and to characterize the uncertainties associated to the projected climates of the IPCC-AR5 climate model ensemble on the island scale. The two regional models chosen for climate downscaling are the 12.5km regional model ALADIN that is used to downscale the CNRM-CM5 climate model climate at the French Met Office. The second one is the WRF (Weather Research Forecasting) model which has been used to study weather regimes in New Caledonia (Lefevre et al., 2010), the dynamics of the SPCZ and its tropical cyclones (Jourdain et al., 2011, Jullien et al., 2012, Jullien et al. 2014) in the present day. The idea behind the choice of two regional models is to characterize a possible robustness of the main changes at local scales across climate and regional models.

Expected work.

The first part of the work is centered on New Caledonia’s local climate. First, a reference downscaling simulation of the ERA-Interim reanalysis period (1979-2013) will be setup with WRF in the ~10 km configuration similar to Lefèvre et al. (2010) to evaluate and compare the skills of both ALADIN and WRF simulations for the present day via a series of diagnostic including extremes (e.g, temperature extremes, droughts, number of days above a given threshold etc….). Next, regional downscaling simulations in a climate change mode from the CNRM-CM5 climates and for the historical, RCP 8.5 and RCP4.5 scenarios for WRF will be setup. These will be compared to ALADIN simulations already available. Key meteorological parameters and diagnostics will be again assessed to understand the type of changes expected and their robustness for the future climates.
Finally, if time permits, 2-3 other choices of climates from the IPCC-AR5 models will be made and a WRF downscaling will be performed again. The choice of these IPCC models will be done on a selection of climate models that give a reasonable representation of the present-day climate in the SPCZ. This will allow a first assessment of the uncertainties linked to the representation of the global climate scenarios at the regional scale. The second part of the post doc should consist in extending the work carried out for New Caledonia to Wallis and Futuna and French Polynesia to again characterize the most robust local changes expected from IPCC climate models.
This work is thought as a first step toward understanding climate impacts (beyond the atmospheric dynamics) at the local scale on topics such as vegetation, agriculture, climate dependent vector-borne diseases… Toward that end, the candidate will be in contact with specialists of these aspects in New Caledonia but will also travel for short periods at SPREP (http://www.sprep.org/), Samoa to also interact with regional collaborators.

Job details:

• The position is a 2-year position mostly based in New Caledonia, South Pacific and the candidate will be hosted at the IRD (Institute of Research for Development) New Caledonia center (http://nouvelle-caledonie.ird.fr) with numerous contacts with Météo-France, New Caledonia and New Caledonia’s governmental services.
• 1 round-trip ticket to New Caledonia is provided for the candidate.
• The net salary is ~3000 euros per month with 45 vacation days/year.
• Standard health coverage is included
• WRF calculations will be performed on the IRD-Noumea cluster.
• Starting date: as soon as possible to be discussed with the candidate.
• The candidate must be fluent in English and/or French

Skill requirements.

The candidate must have a PhD with a strong meteorological background, a taste for multidisciplinary studies directed to climate impacts. The knowledge of atmospheric dynamical downscaling is a strong plus.
Contacts and Application
The candidates should provide a CV and apply to: christophe.menkes@ird.fr (tel +687 260932), philippe.frayssinet@meteo.fr, alexandre.peltier@meteo.fr, jerome.lefevre@ird.fr


Brown, J.R., Moise, A.F., Colman, R.A., 2012. The South Pacific Convergence Zone in CMIP5 simulations of historical and future climate. Climate Dynamics 41, 2179–2197. doi:10.1007/s00382-012-1591-x
Jourdain, N.C., Marchesiello, P., Menkes, C.E., Lefèvre, J., Vincent, E.M., Lengaigne, M., Chauvin, F., 2011. Mesoscale Simulation of Tropical Cyclones in the South Pacific: Climatology and Interannual Variability. Journal of Climate 24, 3–25. doi:10.1175/2010JCLI3559.1
Jullien, S., Menkes, C.E., Marchesiello, P., Jourdain, N.C., Lengaigne, M., Koch-Larrouy, A., Lefèvre, J., Vincent, E.M., Faure, V., 2012. Impact of Tropical Cyclones on the Heat Budget of the South Pacific Ocean. Journal of Physical Oceanography 42, 1882–1906. doi:10.1175/JPO-D-11-0133.1
Jullien, S., Marchesiello, P., Menkes C.E., Lefevre J., Samson G., Jourdain N.J., and Lengaigne M.., 2014. Ocean-hurricane interaction in a regional mesoscale coupled model, Climate dynamics, in press
Lefèvre, J., Marchesiello, P., Jourdain, N.C., Menkes, C., Leroy, A., 2010. Weather regimes and orographic circulation around New Caledonia. Marine Pollution Bulletin 61, 413–431. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2010.06.012
Vincent, E.M., Lengaigne, M., Menkes, C.E., Jourdain, N.C., Marchesiello, P., Madec, G., 2011. Interannual variability of the South Pacific Convergence Zone and implications for tropical cyclone genesis. Clim Dyn 36, 1881–1896. doi:10.1007/s00382-009-0716-3
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