IMPRS-gBGC course
'Modeling & Numerical Techniques' 2021

Category: Skill course
Credit points: 0.2 per day

1.  General information

Date: August 31 - September 9, 2021
Place: Lecture hall or via Zoom


2.  COVID-19

Take advantage of an active learning experience and join the course in the lecture hall. Before please test yourself (available at our reception) AND wear your mask if 1.5-m-distance can not be kept.


3.  Preliminary agenda

L = lecture, P = practical



Aug 31
  Mathematical conceptsCarlos Sierra
 09:00 - 12:00L

- Functions, limits, derivatives, integrals
- Systems of equations and linear algebra
- Differential equations


 13:00 - 16:00P

- Solving practical exercise (self-guided)


Sept 1
  Basics of ecological modelingCarlos Sierra
 09:00 - 12:00L

- Model formulation: concepts and model equations
- Ecological interactions and coupled equations
- Stability and steady-state


 13:00 - 16:00P

- Numerical solution of models (self-guided)
- Model-data integration (self-guided)


Sept 7
  FoundationsAxel Kleidon
 09:00 - 12:15L/P

Introduction to Earth system modeling
- Motivation: why modelling?
- Model definition, principles, implementation
- Physical basics: state variables, conservation laws, boundary conditions, formulation of fluxes, approximations


 13:45 - 17:00L/P

Basic differential equations
- Reservoir equation: background, numerical implementation, application
- Diffusion equation: background, numerical implementation, application



Sept 8
  Energy balance and Land surfaceAxel Kleidon
 09:00 - 12:15L/P

Global energy balance modelling
- General circulation models (GCM)
- Energy balance models


 13:45 - 17:00L/P

Land-atmosphere interactions
- Surface energy balance models
- Boundary layer dynamics



Sept 9
  Water balance and Complex systems conceptsAxel Kleidon
 09:00 - 12:15L+P

Water balance modelling
- Catchment hydrology
- Soil hydrology models


 13:45 - 17:00L+P

Complex systems concepts
- Theoretical concepts: sensitivity, feedbacks, multiple steady states, tipping points
- Examples and applications



4.  What you need to prepare

There are no pre-knowledge needed to participate in the module on basic modeling.

Bring a laptop and make sure that a recent version of R is running on your laptop.
You can download the most recent version here:
RStudio is a new open-source integrated development environment that runs on all platforms. It nicely combines console, script editor, working directory, plots etc. into a an uncluttered layout that you can easily navigate. You need to have R installed before you can use RStudio as a development environment.



Go to Editor View