Postdoc: Ocean-climate tipping points in Earth system models at LOCEAN-IPSL, CNRS, Paris


A 24-month postdoctoral position in oceanography is available at LOCEAN-IPSL in Paris, to work on ocean-climate tipping points in Earth system models in collaboration with Juliette Mignot, Guillaume Gastineau and Lester Kwiatkowski.

The Earth system may respond abruptly and irreversibly to changes in anthropogenic forcing. A number of potential tipping elements in the Earth system have been identified, where a relatively small change in anthropogenic forcing can induce a large climate response (McKay et al., 2022; Drijfhout et al., 2015) with serious impacts. In the ocean, the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, the North Atlantic subpolar gyre, coral reefs and planktonic ecosystems have all been identified as elements susceptible to abrupt change and/or tipping (Heinze et al., 2021) with potentially dramatic consequences for society. The TipESM project will bring together scientists from various European institutes and across a range of disciplines to improve our fundamental understanding of climate tipping points in the Earth system, including their impact on society.



The postdoc will contribute to the identification and cataloguing of physical and biogeochemical ocean tipping points in the CMIP6 archive and emission-driven Earth system model simulations performed as part of the TipESM project. Potential tipping elements of interest include the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, the North Atlantic subpolar gyre, ocean primary production and seawater carbonate chemistry. The processes leading to the tipping of these elements and the climate impacts will be assessed in existing simulations of the IPSL climate models. The robustness of tipping points and potential hysteresis under negative emissions scenarios will also be assessed within a multi-model framework alongside other European climate modelling centres.



Candidates should have a PhD in oceanography or climate science, physics, applied mathematics or a related field. The project will suit a candidate with excellent quantitative skills and experience analysing large datasets using computational methods. The ability to demonstrate competence in computer programming or languages such as Fortran, Python, Matlab, NCL and/or R, is essential. Experience with numerical climate modelling is highly desirable.


The work environment 

The postdoctoral position is based in the Laboratoire d’Océanographie et du Climat: expérimentations et approches numériques (LOCEAN), located at the Pierre et Marie Curie campus of Sorbonne Université in central Paris. LOCEAN is part of the Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (IPSL) federation. The candidate may work within the VARCLIM or NEMO Research and development teams at LOCEAN, that share common scientific monthly meetings. The candidate will have opportunities to work in close collaboration with other project partners and attend general assemblies and specific project meetings. Short stays in other key partner laboratories will also be possible.   


Additional information

Salary is expected to be between 1700 and 3000 €/month commensurate with experience, as fixed by the CNRS standards. Contract start date is negotiable but anticipated between October and December 2024. Applications should comprise: a CV with scientific experience, a letter of motivation with an availability date, and some referee name(s). Applications and queries should be sent to the following e-mail addresses:, and . Recruitment process will include an oral interview with the three supervisors with an open discussion on the expected work. . The candidate will also be asked to present her/his past. Selection criteria will include value on mobility, qualifications and experience, and take gender considerations into account.

Funded by

This position is funded by TipESM, a project funded by the European Union. TipESM is funded by the European Union, Horizon Europe Funding Programme for research and innovation under GA Nr. 101137673.

EU Flag TipESM is funded by the European Union, Horizon Europe Funding Programme for research and innovation. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.