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Modelling the Arctic-subarctic Ocean for testing hypotheses about long term climate changes

Supervisors: Paul Myers* (University of Alberta, Edmonton) and Anne de Vernal (Geotop-UQAM, Montreal) 

At the scale of the Pliocene and Quaternary, the Arctic and subarctic realm experienced large amplitudes changes in climate and ocean conditions. For example, it seems that more zonal climate prevailed during some warm episodes such as the last interglacial (MIS 5e; ca. 125 ka) during which the W-E contrasts of temperatures in the northwest North Atlantic were much lower than at present. On the contrary, the early Holocene was apparently marked by stronger W-E contrast of temperatures across the North Atlantic, possibly as the result of strong freshwater/meltwater export from the Arctic along the eastern Greenland and Canadian margins. During the early Holocene, there is also evidence for variation in sea ice cover extent with trends that differed in the eastern Arctic (Barents Sea, eastern Fram Strait, for ex.) and the western Arctic (Chukchi Sea).

The aim of the postdoctoral study would be to: (i) use an eddy-permitting configuration of NEMO for simulating time-slices of the Northern Hemisphere climate and ocean changes during the warm phases of the last interglacial and early Holocene with the objective to explore the respective role of various forcings (modified atmospheric circulation, freshwater-meltwater discharges, sea-level) on ocean circulation, circulation pathways and related heat fluxes; (ii) use a coarser resolution version of the same NEMO configuration to carry out an extended simulation using various reconstructions of atmospheric variability to examine transitions and internal variability in the system.

The candidate will be mostly working in Edmonton at the University of Alberta but will be expected to visit Montreal for several extended periods to interact with the paleoclimate group at GEOTOP.The candidate is expected to have a strong background in physics, with an interest in paleoclimate. The main supervision of the work will be made by Anne de Vernal and Paul Myers, but the candidate will have to interact with others members of the ARCTrain group.

 *PDF have to be supervised by both a data expert and a modelling expert


ArcTrain Canada comprises 9 Canadian partner institutions:

UQAM Memorial University of Newfoundland University of Alberta
ArcTrain is an international training program in collaboration with: