PhD (Climate Science) – ETH Zurich

The Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science of ETH Zurich has an opening for a

PhD Position in Climate Science

in the frame of the project “Towards an improved understanding of the Global Energy Balance: Temporal variation of solar radiation in the climate system” funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

The aim of this PhD project is to obtain a better understanding of the variations of solar radiation at the Earth’s surface as observed over the past decades, which appear to have a profound impact on various aspects of environmental change. It remains debated whether these variations are primarily due to either aerosols or clouds, and dominated by reflection or absorption, with opposing impacts on global warming. A promising way to address these questions is to combine surface radiation measurements with collocated measurements of solar reflection back to space obtained from satellites, which allows an estimation of the disposition of solar radiation in the climate system and attribution to absorption and scattering.

In this PhD project, both surface and satellite data will thus be exploited to study the temporal variation of solar radiation in the climate system. The study period since 2000, when accurate satellite data started to become available, is particularly interesting as it covers a phase where global temperatures have not been rising substantially (“global warming hiatus”).

The position requires a master degree in Atmospheric/Earth/Environmental Sciences, Physics or equivalent. Applicants are expected to have a strong background in atmospheric sciences and (applied) mathematics and /or (geo-) statistics. Excellent skills in programming (UNIX environment) and data processing, as well as in communicating in oral and written English are a clear advantage. The ability to work in a team as well as in a self-dependent manner with a high degree of dedication is a further requirement.

We offer a friendly and stimulating work environment at a leading climate research institute with excellent infrastructures. The position is funded for three years. The ideal starting date is fall 2015. Workplace is Zurich, Switzerland. PhD salaries are at an internationally attractive level.

Further information can be obtained from

Prof. Martin Wild | E-mail:

Please submit your application online by going to

(submissions by email will not be considered)


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