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Cambridge NERC Doctoral Training Partnerships

Graduate Research Opportunities
 
Brief summary: 
In this project you will work with a range of stakeholders and use the newly developed UKESM1 model to quantify the impacts on the atmosphere of new technologies/adaptations made to reach Net Zero carbon emissions.
Importance of the area of research concerned: 
There is urgency that we apply mitigation and adaptation measures in order to reach the ambition of Net Zero emissions of carbon dioxide. However, there are a wide range of approaches that could have different but currently uncertain impacts on the atmosphere. In order to develop the best approaches we need to quantify the full impacts of these and this project will focus on the atmospheric impacts.
Project summary : 
The need for Net Zero is now very ingrained in our thinking about solutions to the Climate Crisis. However, how we achieve Net Zero is currently very uncertain. There are a wide range of options beyond demand reduction which fall within the scope of Net Zero. Many of these could impact the atmosphere and potentially have impacts on air quality. Currently air pollution is a major cause of premature death with strong links to a range of diseases and conditions. It is paramount that new adaptation and mitigation measures that help us reach Net Zero do not have a detriment to air quality. But this requires detailed scenario and process modelling.
What will the student do?: 
In this project you will work with partners in industry, government and academia to assess the impacts of different pathways to Net Zero on the atmosphere. This will include work to look at what are the optimum fuels to be produced from techniques like artificial photosynthesis, refining our understanding of the impacts of a future H2 based energy shift, and quantifying any implications of reforestation. You will use the UKESM1 model which has been developed jointly by the NERC community and the Met Office. You will design and run new simulations with this model and compare to existing, counterfactual, experiments. You will lead the analyses of the modelling data and develop new skills in complex data analysis.
References - references should provide further reading about the project: 
https://www.iea.org/reports/net-zero-by-2050
Faunce, T.A., Lubitz, W., Rutherford, A.B., MacFarlane, D., Moore, G.F., Yang, P., Nocera, D.G., Moore, T.A., Gregory, D.H., Fukuzumi, S. and Yoon, K.B., 2013. Energy and environment policy case for a global project on artificial photosynthesis. Energy & Environmental Science, 6(3), pp.695-698.
Paulot, F., Paynter, D., Naik, V., Malyshev, S., Menzel, R. and Horowitz, L.W., 2021. Global modeling of hydrogen using GFDL-AM4. 1: Sensitivity of soil removal and radiative forcing. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 46(24), pp.13446-13460.
Applying
You can find out about applying for this project on the Department of Chemistry page.
Department of Chemistry Graduate Administrator
Dr Alex Archibald