Barcelona Supercomputing Center - Centro Nacional de Supercomputación
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Full Time
Closes: 14 April 2023
Applications have closed
Atmospheric Composition data assimilation postdoctoral position (R2)

Context And Mission

Within the Earth Sciences Department of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, the Atmospheric Composition (AC) group aims at better understanding and predicting the spatiotemporal variations of atmospheric pollutants along with their effects upon air quality, weather and climate.

The AC group develops the Multiscale Online Non-hydrostatic AtmospheRe CHemistry model (MONARCH). MONARCH contains advanced chemistry and aerosol packages, and is coupled online with the Non-hydrostatic Multiscale Model (NMMB), which allows for running either global or high-resolution (convection-allowing) regional simulations, and is coupled with an aerosol and gas data assimilation system based on the Local Ensemble Transform Kalman Filter (LETKF).

The group contributes to a variety of forecasting activities. The dust component of MONARCH runs operationally at the first WMO Regional Specialized Meteorological Center for Atmospheric Sand and Dust Forecast (i.e., the Barcelona Dust Forecast Center, BDFC;, and contributes to multi-model ensemble forecasts both at the WMO Sand and Dust Storm Warning Advisory and Assessment System Regional Center (WMO SDS-WAS RC) for Northern Africa, Middle East and Europe, and at the International Cooperative for Aerosol Prediction (ICAP). Both WMO Regional Centers are co-hosted by BSC and the Spanish Meteorological Agency (AEMET). The group has been actively involved in the Copernicus Programme of the European Union during the last 5 years and MONARCH has been recently incorporated as a new model of the Copernicus Regional Production Service (CAMS2_40; Copernicus products are widely used by administrations and policy makers across Europe.

The successful applicant will join the Data Assimilation team of the Atmospheric Composition group of the Earth Sciences department at BSC and will work on the assimilation of observations in the MONARCH chemical weather system. He or she will contribute to maintaining and further improving the current data assimilation scheme for aerosols and gases (based on a LETKF) coupled to MONARCH. According to the candidate’s profile and scientific interest, he or she will work in different aspects of chemistry data assimilation (see key duties).

This work will be done through close interaction with other team members and in collaboration with the colleagues from the Computational Earth Sciences group. For further information about the content of the position, please contact Prof. Carlos Perez Garcia Pando ( or Dr. Enza Di Tomaso ( via email.

Key Duties

  • Characterisation of model uncertainty through the generation of ensemble perturbations
  • Treatment of assimilated observations from new sensors (both satellite and ground-based)
  • Evaluation of the impact of assimilating observations in the monitoring and forecast of atmospheric composition species
  • Design and production of reanalyses,
  • Deployment of data assimilation in operational services such as the regional Copernicus Atmosphere –
  • Monitoring Service and the WMO Barcelona Dust Forecast Center.
  • Presenting research findings; writing manuscripts in top peer review publications; assisting grant applications; and other duties as assigned.



  • Having a PhD in Physics, Mathematics, Geosciences or related discipline

Essential Knowledge and Professional Experience

  • Knowledge and experience of earth system data assimilation are required.
  • Good computing skills in a high-level computer language (such as FORTRAN or C or Python) are required.
  • Experience with atmospheric composition (modeling or observations; gases or aerosols) would be advantageous but not essential.
  • Knowledge of atmospheric science data formats (such as NetCDF), scientific tools (e.g., CDO, NCO) and data visualization will be valued.


  • Scientific curiosity and proactive attitude
  • Ability to work collaboratively
  • Good knowledge of English


  • The position will be located at BSC within the Earth Sciences Department
  • We offer a full-time contract, a good working environment, a highly stimulating environment with state-of-the-art infrastructure, flexible working hours, extensive training plan, restaurant tickets, private health insurance, support to the relocation procedures
  • Duration: Open-ended contract due to technical and scientific activities linked to the project and budget duration
  • Salary: we offer a competitive salary commensurate with the qualifications and experience of the candidate and according to the cost of living in Barcelona
  • Starting date: ASAP