Postdoc “Benchmarking Ocean Carbon Cycle Models” (m/f/d)…

  • Contract
  • Germany
  • Posted 2 months ago

Alfred Wegener Institute - Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI)

Area of research:

Scientific / postdoctoral posts

Job description:Postdoc “Benchmarking Ocean Carbon Cycle Models” (m/f/d)

This position will be part of the EU funded Horizon project OceanICU: Improving Carbon Understanding.

Within the Alfred Wegener Institute, you will be part of the Helmholtz Young Investigator group Marine Carbon and Ecosystem Feedbacks in the Earth System (MarESys) led by Dr. Judith Hauck. MarESys aims to assess integrated effects of climate change and variability in the ocean with a focus on ocean carbon feedbacks and marine ecosystem drivers.


The Global Carbon Project assesses the sources and sinks of anthropogenic CO2 emissions in its annual releases of the Global Carbon Budget. The ocean takes up about a quarter of annual CO2 emissions. This number is estimated from two independent data classes, namely global ocean biogeochemical models and surface ocean pCO2 observation-based data products. These two data classes disagree on the ocean CO2 uptake in recent years with a striking difference of a factor of three in the growth rate of the ocean carbon sink since around 2002. Independent lines of evidence suggest that the majority of the ocean biogeochemical models underestimate the ocean carbon sink by 10-20%. Underlying processes for this underestimation and the model spread were suggested to be a too low Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, a too high surface Revelle factor (too low buffer capacity), and a misrepresentation of subduction in the Southern Ocean. In this project, we aim to derive a benchmarking scheme targeted to assess the ocean biogeochemical models’ capability to robustly simulate the recent ocean carbon sink and its temporal evolution. Options for assessing benchmarking scores and model weighting will be explored. There will be ample opportunity to network within the OceanICU and Global Carbon Project communities and to contribute to the Global Carbon Budget.

The preferred starting date is spring/summer 2023.


  • Develop an ocean biogeochemical model benchmarking scheme using targeted metrics to assess the models’ capability to assess the ocean carbon sink
  • Explore options for unique benchmarking scores and model weighting
  • Support the ocean carbon sink assessment for the Global Carbon Budget


  • A PhD in physics, marine sciences, geosciences, chemical oceanography, climate sciences or related field
  • Experience with ocean carbon cycle modelling
  • Skills in the processing, statistical analysis and visualization of data, along with knowledge of a high-level programming language (Python, Fortran, or equivalent)
  • Proven publication record in peer-reviewed scientific journals
  • Excellent English language skills and enjoy working in an international and interdisciplinary team.

Further Information
The AWI is characterised by

The AWI is characterised by

  • our scientific success – excellent research
  • collaboration and cooperation – intra-institute, national and international, interdisciplinary
  • opportunities to develop – on the job, aiming at other positions and beyond AWI
  • a culture of reconciling work and family – an audited and well-supported aspect of our operation
  • our outstanding research infrastructure – ships, stations, aircraft, laboratories and more
  • an international environment – everyday contacts with people from all over the world
  • having an influence – fundamental research with social and political relevance
  • flat hierarchies – facilitating freedom and responsibility
  • exciting science topics, with opportunities also in technology, administration and infrastructure

Equal opportunities are an integral part of our personnel policy. The AWI aims to increase the number of employees who are women, and therefore strongly encourages qualified women to apply.

AWI offers the possibility of mobile working to the extent of up to 50% of regular working hours.

Applicants with disability will be given preference when equal qualifications are present.

The AWI fosters the compatibility of work and family in various ways and has received a number of awards as a result of this engagement.

This research center is part of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers. With more than 42,000 employees and an annual budget of over € 5 billion, the Helmholtz Association is Germany’s largest scientific organisation.

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