Post-doc Job Opportunity: Research in Drought Propagation

  • Full Time
  • Anywhere

We have a vacancy coming for a PhD on the topic of drought propagation:

Meteorological droughts are prolonged periods of precipitation shortage that lead to agricultural loss, tree mortality, air pollution and water scarcity. There is a perception that droughts are becoming unusually frequent and severe. This exacerbation and proliferation counts amongst the most serious impacts of future climate change on society. Yet, the understanding of how droughts start and evolve remains limited. Persistent atmospheric circulation anomalies seem a necessary ingredient, but positive land feedbacks have been suggested as being critical for their evolution: as soil and vegetation dry out and evaporation from land declines, the air becomes even drier, thus the likelihood of rainfall further decreases. Moreover, this does not only affect the local likelihood of rainfall, but also the likelihood of rainfall downwind. We hypothesize that droughts may self-intensify and self-propagate via land feedbacks. A better understanding of these processes could improve forecasts, climate projections and societal adaptation.

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