How is the global water cycle responding to climate change?

About the project or challenge area

In recent years the spatial pattern of terrestrial water storage has changed dramatically. In many parts of the world the water cycle has become more intense, with severe floods and droughts occurring more frequently. There is also large uncertainty about the impact of these changes on sea level rise.

The aim of this project is to use satellite observations and other estimates of changes in precipitation, groundwater withdrawal and evapotranspiration in order to map the movement of water mass on a global scale. By improving our understanding of recent changes in the global water cycle, it is hoped that the project will help close the global freshwater budget and provide new evidence about its contribution to sea level rise.

Why choose this opportunity?

As a member of the European Research Council-funded GlobalMass project, you will join an interdisciplinary team of scientists with expertise in hydrology, geodesy, oceanography, glaciology and statistics. You will have the opportunity to gain a deeper knowledge of the land-ice-ocean-solid Earth system, and to gain experience in new and innovative computational and statistical methods being used to assimilate large spatio-temporal datasets as well as hands-on experience working with various satellite data sets.

This project is fully funded for UK/EU students. 

About you

Previous experience in programming with MatLab, python, R or C++ would be advantageous.

How to apply

All students can apply using the button below, following the Masters by Research Admissions Statement (PDF, 187kB). Please note that this is an advertised project, which means you only have to complete Section A of the Research Statement Template (Office document, 69kB).


Your supervisor for this project will be Professor Jonathan Bamber, Professor of Physical Geography in the School of Geographical Sciences. You can contact him at +44 (0) 117 42 82490 or email


Your co-supervisor for this project will be Dr Bramha Dutt Vishwakarma, Research Associate with the Bristol Glaciology Centre in the School of Geographical Sciences. You can email him at .

Find out more about your prospective research community

The Water theme is a vibrant community of researchers who are transforming the evidence base for water-based decision making in a changing and deeply uncertain world. Find out more about the Water research theme.

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