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Research scientist position on predictability and prediction of the large-scale ocean dynamics

About the host institute - BSC

BSC-CNS (Barcelona Supercomputing Center – Centro Nacional de Supercomputación) is the National Supercomputing Facility in Spain and was officially constituted in April 2005. BSC-CNS manages MareNostrum, one of the most powerful supercomputers in Europe, located at the Torre Girona chapel. The mission of BSC-CNS is to investigate, develop and manage information technology 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 400 staff from 41 countries. To get an idea of what it’s like to work at the BSC take a look at this video:

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 Virginie Guemas, aims at developing a climate prediction capability for time scales ranging from a few weeks to a few decades into the future (sub-seasonal to decadal climate prediction) and 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. We use the EC-Earth European global climate model ( for our developments and collaborate closely with all the members from the EC-Earth consortium. Positioned at the cutting-edge of climate predictions research, we also have access to large multi-model databases from international projects (CMIP, SPECS, NMME …) for process analysis. Achieving our objectives rely on the combination of a large variety of expertise on climate processes within our group from the stratosphere down to the deep ocean and from tropical to polar latitudes, together with expertise on climate modeling and data assimilation. Particular attention is paid to the career path of the group members, 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. PREFACE ( which focuses on improving our understanding of the Tropical Atlantic Ocean variability and its impact on the marine ecosystems as well as our ability to predict these a few months to a few years ahead,

2. SPECS ( which focuses on improving our predictive capability on seasonal to decadal timescales thanks to the analysis of sources of predictability and the associated mechanisms, the development of methodologies to generate adequate initial conditions, the improved representation of climate processes, the robust assessment of forecast quality and uncertainty,

3. 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. This position presents the opportunity to work alongside a wide range of leading, international climate specialists delivering innovative climate science research. The incumbent will enjoy joining one of the leading and most dynamic European groups in the field of climate predictions.

Key Duties

The successful applicant will work on the generation of ocean initial conditions for seasonal-to-decadal ensemble climate predictions with the dynamical global climate model used by the climate prediction group, EC-Earth, using data from a comprehensive set of high-resolution global reanalysis. The generation of more balanced initial states that reduce or even prevent the initial shock will be an important aspect of the work. The impact of the initial conditions will be assessed with the tools already developed by the group members and by implementing new ocean diagnostics to be included in these tools. Process-based analyses of the main sources of predictability related to the ocean component as well as new ways to infer information on model deficiencies across time scales are part of the tasks. The applicant will be involved in collaborative work with other partners within the EC-Earth consortium.


Applicants must have a PhD in physical oceanography, applied mathematics or in a related discipline. Ideal candidates will have several of the following attributes:

A demonstrated ability to develop experimental set ups that address specific climate modeling problems.

Extended knowledge of bash, R, cdo, nco and Python.

Experience in handling large databases, and a minimum knowledge of NetCDF encoding.

Proven ability to prepare and submit manuscripts to peer-review journals.

Interest and capacity in participating in the writing in and, when possible, leading the preparation of research and computing proposals.

Fluency in spoken and written English, while fluency in other European languages will be also valued.

This position implies becoming part of dynamic, multi-national research group that performs cutting-edge, highly-demanding climate prediction experiments. The candidate should be able to work as an active and collaborative team member to help in the delivery of shared objectives ant to efficiently communicate results. Hence, the ability to work as part of a large, strongly-coordinated team and to continuously share both knowledge and tools is an essential aspect required.


The position will be located at BSC within the Earth Sciences Department and start as soon as possible. The contract will be for at least two years, depending on performance. The salary will be commensurate with experience.

Applications Procedure

All applications must be applied in including:

1. A motivation letter

2. A full CV including contact details

jobs/job_offer_ocean_2015_10_16.txt · Last modified: 2017/02/22 09:29 by kserrade