Greenland 2050: modeling the Greenland ice sheet over the coming decades

Job Details

Job ID: 11255

A postdoc research opportunity exists to investigate the evolution of the Greenland Ice Sheet until 2050, an important time scale for observing, understanding and predicting the evolution of ice sheets and their contribution to sea level. This 30-year time scale is crucial for policy makers and is not addressed in current international modeling efforts, that focus on 100-500 year projections. Over the next 30 years, the Greenland Ice Sheet is expected to experience increasing surface melt that will likely accelerate glacier flow by modifying basal conditions and increasing rates of ocean melt at glacier fronts that could cause significant ice front retreats. Despite this general understanding, ice sheet models provide limited insight into how the ice sheet will respond over the next 30 years.


This position is part of Earth2050, a JPL initiative in Climate System Science that will address fundamental climate science questions focused on the 2050 time-horizon. In particular, how can we better observe, predict and understand how key aspects of the Earth’s climate will change in the next 30 years. The Initiative will leverage past, present and future JPL-developed space-borne observations of the climate system, as well as several of the modeling and data-assimilation components that have already been developed or are currently being developed at JPL. Dr. Helene Seroussi will serve as the postdoctoral advisor. The appointee will carry out research in collaboration with the JPL advisor and others, resulting in publications in the open literature.

The candidate will work with a state-of-the-art ice flow model as well as various remote-sensing observations to simulate the changes of the Greenland ice sheet over the past 30 years and project its possible evolution over the next 30 years. These activities include model development and evaluation, and working closely with the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM) and remote-sensing teams.


Candidates should have a recent PhD degree in Glaciology, Mechanical Engineering or Earth Science. A strong background in numerical modeling is preferred, as well as programming skills and a strong interest for glaciology. Well-qualified candidates will have familiarity with MATLAB and C++, experience Linux/Unix systems, including the writing of shell scripts. A strong background in glaciology, with expertise in numerical modeling and geophysical dynamics is desirable. Candidates who have received their PhD within the past five years since the date of their application are eligible. Postdoctoral Scholar positions are awarded for a minimum of one-year period and may be renewed up to a maximum duration of three years. Candidates should submit the following to this site: CV, representative publications, contact information for three references, and a cover letter stating their research accomplishments and interests.

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