Association of Polar Early Career Scientists


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PhD position in coupled atmosphere-ocean-ice sheet modelling
Hamburg, Germany
Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M)
  • Graduate Position

The Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M), a multidisciplinary centre for climate and Earth system research located in Hamburg, Germany, invites applications for

3 PhD positions.

The successful candidates will become a member of the International Max Planck Research School on Earth System Modelling (IMPRS-ESM). Our school offers prime research facilities, advanced academic training in the Earth system sciences and modelling, a structured supervision programme and funded PhD positions (3 years).

For detailed information on these positions please visit:


Please note topic 2:

Is the mass loss of the Greenland ice sheet reversible?

Due to increasing temperatures in the last decades, the Greenland ice sheet has lost a significant amount of mass. Recent studies have shown that with an ongoing warming, the Greenland ice sheet is likely to continue to lose mass and might reach a tipping point beyond which the ice sheet will not be able to regrow, even if atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations would be lowered to preindustrial values again. While this has been studied with simple models before, a new developed comprehensive atmosphere-ocean-ice sheet-vegetation-solid earth model will be used here, allowing for a more realistic description of feedbacks between the Greenland ice sheet and other compartments of the climate system, including the atmosphere, ocean and solid earth. 

In this PhD project the stability of the Greenland ice sheet will be studied in the coupled climate-ice sheet-solid earth model MPI-ESM-mPISM-VILMA, developed by the ocean-physics group as part of the project PalMod. The student will perform model simulations under changing climate conditions and investigate if and when the Greenland ice sheet crosses a tipping point. The goal is to explore whether the Greenland ice sheet could potentially return to its present state if temperature trends would reverse or whether the ice sheet reaches a new stable state that differs from the present, hence, exhibits multiple steady states including hysteresis behavior. The work will contribute to a better understanding of the physical processes and feedbacks between the Greenland ice sheet and other compartments of the climate system.


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