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ENV East Doctoral Training Partnership

 

Applications to the EnvEast Doctoral Training Partnership are now closed.

Below you can browse some of the PhD projects we have previously funded; if you would like to be informed when applications open, or if you have any questions about EnvEast and our application process, please email us.

Projects previously funded by EnvEast

SALMAN_U14EE

The Southern Ocean: Barrier or Blender?

Project description

The Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) in the Southern Ocean is the world's largest, and arguably most influential, ocean current, and serves as the principal pathway of exchange between ocean basins. The Southern Ocean is also the primary region where anthropogenic carbon dioxide enters the ocean from the atmosphere and is central to our understanding of how the climate is responding to anthropogenic forcing.

Ocean eddies are a ubiquitous feature and play a particularly pivotal role in the dynamics and thermodynamics of the Southern Ocean. Although progress has been made in the last decade, many aspects of eddies remain poorly understood, rendering it difficult to faithfully parameterise their effects in climate models. Recent studies suggest that the ability of eddies to mix heat, salt, carbon and other properties in the Southern Ocean is somewhat suppressed in the surface layer by the presence of the ACC, but strongly enhanced at mid depth where there are “critical layers”. However, the underlying mechanisms are far from being understood, and there is an ongoing debate concerning whether the Southern Ocean is a barrier or blender for eddy mixing. 

This PhD project aims to improve our understanding of how the eddies mix properties in the Southern Ocean, which, in turn, help to guide future eddy parameterizations in climate models
  • Start date 1 October 2014