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Postdoc position: Physics of the unexpected: Understanding tipping points in natural systems.

The theme of the research project is to identify the dynamics of tipping points and regime shifts in the climate. The aim is broad, leaving room for the candidate to pursue own ideas: 
Tipping points are well understood in terms of bifurcations in low dimensional systems, and as phase transitions in high dimensional equilibrium systems. But when it comes to realistic natural systems, where field equations or very many variables are involved a general theory is lacking.  
With computers, we are successful in predicting the smooth future of complex systems in nature and society, such as the climate, the biosphere and societies. However, there is not only a limit to our description of these systems, the modeling also reveals fundamental deficiencies in capturing the non-linear behavior: Big models seem to assume a state, where negative feedbacks will dampen external perturbations and bring the system back to equilibrium. On the contrary, real systems exhibit large fluctuations, irreversible changes and extremes not well captured in the models. 
Here we shall investigate the climate, where the contrast between model simulations and observations is pronounced. The climate has undergone abrupt changes, both as non-linear response to orbital changes and as internally caused jumps between meta-stable states (Dansgaard-Oeschger events), the cause of which is unknown.  
The Earth System models are based on solving the governing physical equations. They are, however, tuned to describe the observed equilibrium state and seem to be much more stable than the observed system.  
We are seeking an independent and highly qualified postdoc who has proven his or her qualifications in pursuing an academic career.  The ideal candidate has a background in climate modeling, fluid mechanics, complex systems or dynamical systems theory. 
The candidate will be part of a strong research team at the Niels Bohr Institute, with world leading researchers in climate modeling, complex systems, paleoclimatology, dynamical systems and turbulence. 
The position is for 1 year with the possibility of extension, with start 01 12 2017 or as soon as convenient for the candidate. 
Terms of employment   
The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.   
Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.   
The starting salary is currently up to DKK 413.717 including annual supplement (+ pension up to DKK 70.746). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible.   
The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.   
Please include   
- Curriculum vitae including list of publications  
- Diplomas (Master and PhD degree or equivalent)   
The deadline for applications is 30 09 2017, 23:59 GMT +1.   
For enquiries regarding the position, contact Peter Ditlevsen, 
After the expiry of the deadline for applications, the authorized recruitment manager selects applicants for assessment on the advice of the Interview Committee.   
You can read about the recruitment process at  

Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.


Application deadline: 30-09-2017
Employment start: 01-12-2017
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Niels Bohr Institutet

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