PhD Position: Aerosol-Cloud Brightening from Observations to Idealized Modeling


Stratocumulus cloud cover vast stretches of the subtropical oceans. They cool the planet by reflecting sunlight back to space. If the reflectivity of all subtropical stratocumulus would be increased by just a few percent, this cooling could offset the greenhouse gas warming of doubling the atmospheric CO2 concentrations. The brightness clouds can be modified by increased amounts of aerosol particles. The deliberate introduction of sea salt aerosol particles into stratocumulus clouds has therefore been suggested as a hypothetical “climate engineering” strategy to temporarily reduce temperature and mitigate some effects of climate change until efficient tools to remove CO2 from the atmosphere become available to reverse anthropogenic emissions. During your PhD research, you will investigate aerosol-cloud interactions in order to evaluate the cloud-microphysical feasibility of climate engineering by marine cloud brightening. You will work with ground-based observations in combination with a 1-dimensional model (cloud parcel model). Within a broad scope, we will guide you in designing specific research projects that take your own ideas and interests into account.

Your PhD project will be supervised by Herman Russchenberg, George Biskos, Isabelle Steinke, Pier Siebesma and Franziska Glassmeier in collaboration with Cambridge University. You will be part of our lively Atmospheric Science research team, which has a strong focus on modeling and observing clouds. In addition to an exciting research project and a friendly and stimulating work environment, we can offer you funds for scientific travel.