Research scientist position on sea ice modelling, variability and predictability (R2)

Job Reference:



Research scientist position on sea ice modelling, variability and predictability (R2)

Closing Date:

Sunday, 24 September, 2017

Job Description:

The Barcelona Supercomputing Center - Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS) is the leading supercomputing center in Spain. It houses MareNostrum, one of the most powerful supercomputers in Europe, and is a hosting member of the PRACE European distributed supercomputing infrastructure. The mission of BSC is to research, develop and manage information technologies in order to facilitate scientific progress. BSC combines HPC service provision and R&D into both computer and computational science (life, earth and engineering sciences) under one roof, and currently has over 500 staff from 44 countries.

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Context and Mission

Within the Earth Sciences Department of Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC-ES), led by Prof Francisco Doblas-Reyes, the climate prediction group, led by Dr Virginie Guemas and Dr. Pablo Ortega, aims at developing climate prediction capability for time scales ranging from a few weeks to a few decades into the future, from regional to global scales. This objective relies on expanding our understanding of the climate processes responsible for the predictable part of the climate variability through a deep analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of state-of-the-art climate forecast systems in comparison with the most up-to-date observational datasets, and on exploiting these detailed analyses to refine the representation of these climate processes in our climate forecast systems and their correct initialization.

Positioned at the cutting-edge of climate prediction research, the climate prediction group is composed of nearly 20 scientists, most of which are early-career scientists, and combines a large variety of expertise on climate processes from the stratosphere down to the deep ocean and from tropical to polar latitudes, together with expertise in climate modelling and data assimilation.

The group can rely on a team of more than 15 engineers and technicians to support the computer infrastructure in place, improve the computational performance of the climate model and develop new tools required by the scientific team. It also collaborates closely with the services group within the department providing top-notch climate information to large variety of stakeholders. Finally, the group is part of the development team and a key user of the EC-Earth European global climate model ( and as such collaborates closely with all the members of the EC-Earth consortium.

Particular attention is paid to the career path of the scientists, who are given gradually increasing responsibilities within the group and in the context of both national and international projects. Outstanding opportunities exist for establishing links with other international climate research institutions and, if interested, to participate in the tutoring and monitoring of early-career scientists. This position requires participation in several projects funded by the European commission such as:

1 – APPLICATE, which aims to develop an enhanced predictive capacity for weather and climate in the Arctic and beyond, and to determine the influence of Arctic climate change on Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes, for the benefit of policy makers, businesses and society.

2 – PRIMAVERA, which focuses on improving the climate model reliability through the use of ground-breaking resolutions, novel approaches to represent physical processes and their uncertainties, original sensitivity experiments to diagnose strengths and weaknesses of state-of-the-art climate models.

3 – MEDSCOPE, which aims to improve climate forecast capabilities and related climate services on seasonal-to-decadal timescales over the Mediterranean region.


Key Duties

  • Generate initial sea ice conditions for the EC-Earth climate model, perform sensitivity experiments to these initial conditions and investigate sources of sea ice predictability.
  • Investigate the linkages between sea ice and mid-latitudes such as to further our understanding of the role of sea ice as a predictor for mid-latitude atmosphere and to improve climate predictions, especially over the Mediterranean region.
  • Asses the sensitivity of the mean state of the sea ice (and its variability) to new physics schemes introduced in EC-Earth. The assessment will be done using tools already developed by the group members and on the implementation of new process-based diagnostics to be included in these tools. The applicant will be involved in collaborative work with members of the other groups of the department and other partners within the EC-Earth consortium.



  • Education
    • PhD in physical oceanography, climate physics, applied mathematics or in a related discipline


  • Essential Knowledge and Professional Experience
    • Proven ability to prepare and submit manuscripts to peer-review journals
    • A demonstrated ability to develop experimental setups that address specific climate modelling problems.
    • Experience in ocean/atmosphere modelling or environmental modelling
    • Programming skill: scripting (e.g. bash, python), data analysis and visualization software (e.g. CDO, NCO R. Python, NCL)
    • Experience in handling large databases, and a minimum knowledge of NetCDF encoding


  • Additional Knowledge and Professional Experience
    • Interest and capacity in participating in the writing in and, when possible, leading the preparation of research and computing proposals
    • Knowledge of version control systems (git, svn, cvs…)
    • Experience in HPC and parallel computing (multi-threaded applications)


  • Competences
    • Highly collaborative spirit and ability to work as part of a large, strongly-coordinated team and to continuously share both knowledge and tools
    • Fluency in spoken and written English, while fluency in other European languages will be also valued
    • Ability to efficiently communicate results
    • Fluency in spoken and written English, while fluency in other European languages will be also valued



  • The position will be located at BSC within the Earth Sciences Department
  • We offer a full-time contract, a good working environment, flexible hours, Tickets Restaurant and a medical assurance
  • Salary will depend on the qualifications and experience of the candidate
  • The contract will be for two years initially, with the possibility of renewal depending on performance
  • Starting date: As soon as possible


Applications Procedure

All applications must include:

  • A motivation letter
  • A full CV including contact details


Diversity and Equal Opportunity Employment

BSC-CNS is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion. We are pleased to consider all qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability or any other basis protected by applicable state or local law.

Application Form

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