Tobias Becker receives Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship

Dr Tobias Becker, scientist in the department „The Atmosphere in the Earth System“ at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M), won a prestigious Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. From October 2020, he will conduct research for two years together with Dr Irina Sandu at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). They will study the interaction of deep convection with its environment in global storm-resolving simulations.

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He completed his doctoral thesis at MPI-M in December 2017 and has since worked as a postdoc on two different topics. He investigated the various factors affecting entrainment in different regions in the tropics, the mixing of air into a preexisting updraft. He was also involved in the project RCEMIP (Radiative-Convective Equilibrium Model Intercomparison Project), where he contributed some simulations with different MPI-M models. He then examined what caused the different climate sensitivities in the RCEMIP models. From January to June 2020 Dr Becker was employed in the project CONSTRAIN (Constraining uncertainty of multi decadal climate projections), which also aims at a better understanding of climate sensitivity.

Dr Becker: “With this fellowship I would like to apply my knowledge, skills and ideas, which I developed during the analysis of convection in idealized RCE models at MPI-M, to the IFS model at the ECMWF, which is used for long-term weather forecasts. I am particularly motivated by the opportunity to make a small contribution to improving future weather forecasts with my research results.”

Convective precipitation remains a cause of systematic errors in weather prediction and climate models because it is very complex and hard to model. Multiple processes take place at scales smaller than a model’s grid cell and hence need to be parameterized. The assumptions that have to be made when parameterizing convection explain many of the systematic errors in convective precipitation.

Climate projections and global weather forecasts at storm-resolving (2-4 km) resolutions, at which deep convective systems are at least partially resolved, are now becoming feasible and they provide a real opportunity to eliminate some of the longstanding errors in convective precipitation. At ECMWF, Dr Becker will run global simulations with up to 1 km grid spacing with ECMWF´s “Integrated Forecasting System”.

About the fellowship

Feodor Lynen Research Fellowships allow exceptionally highly qualified scientists and scholars of all disciplines and career stages from Germany to conduct research projects of their choice abroad. The program is named after Feodor Lynen, a biochemist and Nobel Prize Laureate from Munich who during his tenure as president of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation from 1975-1979 worked to make the international Humboldt Network accessible to young German researchers. Applicants choose an academic host from some 15,000 academics in the Humboldt Network abroad.

Further information:

Information about the Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship
Information about the ECMWF


Dr Tobias Becker
Max Planck Institute for Meteorology
Email: tobias.becker@we dont want