Coupled Atmosphere - Ocean Interactions (ATM S 560/Ocean 560)

ATM S 560/Ocean 560

3 (CR/NC) credits



Location: ATG 310C

Schedule: TTh 1:30-2:45

Department: Cross-Listed

Quarter: Fall

Course Description

The class will be subdivided in three parts:

* The Basic Physics of the Mean Climate: (two weeks) We will start by reviewing the essential elements (physics and geometry) that are responsible for the gross features of the mean climate state and the annual cycle in the global ocean and atmosphere. This introduction will help to build an intuition for the processes responsible for variability in the climate system, from seasonal to decadal time scales.

* Uncoupled Atmosphere and Ocean Variability: (three weeks) Included in the first half of the course will be a brief overview of the dynamics of the uncoupled tropical oceans and atmosphere.

* Coupled Atmosphere-Ocean Variability in the Tropics: (six weeks) In this part of the class, we will focus on the dynamics of the two coupled phenomenon in the climate system: El Nino/Southern Oscillation phenomenon and the Meridional Modes ENSO is the most important and simplest example of natural climate variability on interannual time scales, and has been shown to have some impact on weather outside of the tropics. The Meridional Modes are found in both the Atlantic and Pacific basins. The Meridional Modes are the dominant forcing for varitions in hurricane activity in the Atlantic and the primary energy source for ENSO.


You should have had some background experience in atmospheric or ocean dynamics (ATM S 509 or OCEAN 512). Please call or email if you have questions.