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Young researchers in the spotlight: Juho Koskentausta

24 April 2024

We are writing profiles on early career researchers to make our younger scientists and their research more visible. It’s Juho’s turn in the spotlight!

Juho, please introduce yourself and tell us about yourself – who are you? where do you work?

I’m a doctoral researcher working at the Finnish Meteorological Institute. I finished
my Master’s degree in meteorology at the University of Helsinki a year ago, and I
continue there as a doctoral student. Already during my studies, I was working at the
FMI for several summer work periods, and I started working for PolarRES after

What do you do for PolarRES? Is it the first project you’ve worked on?

My main task is preparing, carrying out, and analyzing climate model experiments
with the global atmospheric model ECHAM6. I investigate the effect of model biases
on the uncertainty of future climate predictions. I use data from three other climate
models run by other groups in the project and reproduce their basic states in a
single model using a bias correction method. The aim is to understand the
uncertainty of future climate predictions caused by different model bias patterns by
running a single model with different basic states and comparing the future changes.
I have worked on similar projects before, for example, the topic of my Master’s thesis
was the impact of Arctic sea ice loss on Eurasian climate. However, this is the first
large project I’m working on for a longer period of time, and I’m very excited to be
working with a large community of people with diverse backgrounds.

What is the most interesting thing you learned working on PolarRES?

Naturally, I have learned much about climate modelling. I’m spending a lot of time
with my own model experiments, but I also get to see closely how other researchers
carry out their experiments, and it has been very interesting to compare the
properties of different climate models. I’ve also learned how collaboration with
different research groups benefits the thorough planning and preparation process
these experiments require.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Are you still a researcher? What are you working on?

What motivates me during and after my PhD project is the need to understand the
processes affecting climate change and to spread scientific knowledge on present
and future climate. In the field of research, I would like to further improve my
expertise on climate predictions and their interpretations. More generally, I would like
to work with something that has the potential to advance the whole society and
humanity, which was an important reason for me to become a climate researcher.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

As a kid, I enjoyed drawing and planning buildings and wanted to become an
architect. However, I later started nature photography, which introduced me to the
world of fascinating atmospheric phenomena like halos and eventually made me
interested in meteorology. Nevertheless, maybe researchers have some things in
common with architects, as both need to develop something new with familiar
building blocks.

Who is your science idol? Someone you wish you could have a conversation with (from the past or contemporary)

I think I have never had actual idols in science. I think we need the famous figures
that promote science to the larger audience, but also the people who will never get
much attention e.g. because their field of research is not that appealing. I try to learn
from people who have the courage to follow their own path.

What cool Arctic/Antarctica fact is your go-to icebreaker?

Maybe I would use a topical subject as an icebreaker, such as the probability of
seeing the Northern Lights that night or recent trends in the Arctic sea ice extent.