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Mr Alexander West

Postgraduate (part-time)

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I am a part-time PhD student based at the Met Office, supervised by Professor Mat Collins and Dr Bob Beare.

My research project is titled 'The energy and freshwater budget of the Arctic in coupled climate models'.

The Arctic region has displayed dramatic changes in recent decades, most notably loss of summer sea ice, thinning of winter sea ice, loss of springtime snow cover and winter warming.  Accurate projections of future changes in this region are highly desirable, and to this end it is important to know to what extent the most advanced coupled models are simulating present-day Arctic climate accurately.  This study aims to assess that capability by examining the energy budget of the modelled Arctic climate system, and comparing annual and seasonal fluxes to estimates from observations.  In addition, the freshwater budget, concerning fluxes of water which tend to change the salinity of the Arctic Ocean, will be examined, as the salinity of the Arctic Ocean surface exerts a strong control on the energy budget by controlling mixing.

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