Post Graduate Student in Natural Science Specialising Geography, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg

REF NO E 334 802/10 the Department of Earth Sciences, University of

The Faculty of Science Board.

Period of application

Post Graduate Student
wanted for taking part in the project ” Practicable tool for to estimate
nitrous oxide from biomass-cropping in agriculture and forestry” funded by
Swedish Energy Agency.

The Greenhouse gas
nitrous oxide (N2O) is about 300 times stronger than carbon dioxide
and long lived in the atmosphere. Nitrous oxide can be emitted from the soil
when producing biomass, irrespective aimed for food or biofuels. The project
goal is to generate satisfactory and fairly simple emission functions, for to
be used in nitrous oxide emission estimations. Methods to use are measurement
data and models like the CoupModel. Focus are on the modeling of biological
processes in the borderline to soil-water-air to generate emission equations,
to be used as a tool for estimating nitrous oxide from different land use
primarily in Sweden. Society has a need for better knowledge on nitrous oxide
emission as a base for decisions on actions to mitigate emission and also for
Life Cycle Assessments or more comprehensive analysis. We are seeking a Post
Graduate Student with keen interest in physical geography, biology and climate
with knowledge in model work.

Post graduate studies to be initiated shortly or during
2010. Fulltime studies will be paid by education grant for PhD students the
first two years and the following two years by PhD employment.

Main supervisor; Åsa Kasimir
Klemedtsson Department of Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg (tel +46 31
786 1960, e-mail, and assistant supervisor professor
Per-Erik Jansson KTH Stockholm.

Application: Together with a letter of intent following annexes are asked
for; copies of certificates, CV, one (1) copy of examination paper, and
recommendation letter (maximun 2).

Electronically sent applications will not be considered.

Application address:

University of Gothenburg

Eugenia Andersson

Department of Earth Sciences

Box 460

S-405 30 Göteborg


Latest day for receiving the application is 1st of April 2010. Label the
application with the ref. no E 334 802/10 and “Nitrous oxide”

Trade-Union: SACO Martin Björkman, tel +46 31 786 3608, SEKO Lennart Olsson,
tel +46 31 786 1173, OFR-S Astrid Igerud, tel +46 31 786 1167.


Short project description.


The greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O) is around
300 times stronger than carbon dioxide and long lived in the atmosphere where
it is decomposed along with stratospheric ozone. Most nitrous oxide is produced
in the soil by micro organisms when nitrogen is in excess compared to plant
needs. Biomass production needs available nitrogen irrespective if it will be
used for food or biofuels. The connection between biomass production and
nitrogen has implication on nitrous oxide emission, but implies also existence
of possibilities to mitigate the emission. The Swedish government has set
limits for greenhouse gas emissions, a reduction of 40% for 2020 compared to
1990. Additionally the European parliament has decided on a sustainable biofuel
production with 35 % savings of greenhouse gases compared with fossil fuel use,
and these savings have to increase 2017 to be at least 50 %. Since nitrous oxide
emission from agricultural land is large, ways to assess the emission from
different cropping practices are of need. A problem is that the only simple method is the IPCC method (Tier1), where nitrous oxide
from arable land is estimated upon one factor only, nitrogen addition; in
fertilizer, manure or crop residues. The purpose for the Tier1 method is to
give all nations a method possible to use in estimations of national emissions,
for reporting to the UNFCCC (United Nations Convention on Climate Change).
Although the method can not be used for estimation of emission from single
fields or to give recommendations on how to get lower emissions. This is why
better equations are of need, both for agricultural and forest land, possible
to use for Sweden and other countries as well. As tool for to formulate
equations, specific for regions and crops we suggest to use the recently
improved CoupModel (Coupled heat and mass transfer model for
soil-plant-atmosphere systems) since the
emission is controlled by many and interacting variables. One important variable is nitrogen availability in the soil
which is influenced by nitrogen addition, soil mineralization and
nitrification, variables influenced by factors like climate and drainage. The
field of research is wide and knowledge have to be collected from different
diciplines. This project intends to find proxi-variables on a moderately
detailed level to construct multi variable equations, possible to use for
estimation of nitrous oxide emission in economic analysis, LCA or as input to
userfriendly or research models. The work has importance for different levels
in the society, where research needs good detailed and accepted tools and
authorities are in need to know how to get lower emissions. For this the
commonly used IPCC method for to estimate nitrous oxide emission due to land
use is too course and do not lead forward finding mitigation options, which
makes this project important. The Swedish energy Agency supports the project
and tight connections to authorities and enterprize organisations exists.