IMPRS-gBGC course: Atmosphere & Ocean

Category: Core course
Credit points: 0.2/course day


1.   Date & Place

February 29 - March 21, 2016
start at 9:00 a.m.
Seminar room B0.002


2.  Concept

IMPRS-gBGC core courses introduce doctoral candidates to scientific fields relevant to global biogeochemical cycles in which they have no deep knowledge yet. The purpose of those courses is to facilitate interdisciplinary communication and collaboration.


3.  Preparation

Please make sure that a working implementation of X windows system is installed on your laptop before the exercises start. For Windows, this could be Cygwin/X, for Mac OS you could use the X11 app. There is a variety of similar applications available, also for Linux systems.


4.  Registration

Link to registration page


5.  Agenda

Legend L = Lecture, P = Practical

Feb. 29
 BasicsAxel Kleidon
9:00-12:30L, P
  • Overview of the module: goals, expectations
  • Introduction to the climate system: atmosphere, ocean, land, ice, interior, structure, composition, global biogeochemical cycles, human activity and global change
  • Atmospheric basics: forms of energy and energy transfer, first and second law of thermodynamics, ideal gas law, hydrostatic balance, lapse rate, barometric equation, Carnot efficiency, maximum work
14:00-17:00L, P
  • Radiative forcing: basic radiation laws, radiative temperature, variations in solar radiation, greenhouse effect
  • Planetary energy balance: components of the global energy balance, atmospheric heat transport, planetary comparison
  • Biogeochemical cycles: global cycles, residence times, geology and biogeochemical cycles, evolution of atmospheric composition
  • Wrap-up: summary, next steps, feedback
March 7
 RadiationDietrich Feist, Julia Marshall
9:00-12:00L, PAbsorption by atmospheric gases
  • black body radiation and the electromagnetic spectrum
  • molecular absorption lines of major constituents of the atmosphere
  • absorption coefficient and opacity
  • continuous and discrete radiative transfer equation
  • solar and earth spectra at the ground and the top of the atmosphere
  • excercise on radiative transfer calculations
Dietrich Feist
14:00-15:30LAttenuation by other atmospheric constituents
  • scattering in the Rayleigh, Mie, and geometric regimes
  • introduction to aerosols and their optical properties
  • direct and indirect radiative effects of aerosols
  • cloud radiative properties
  • multiple scattering
Julia Marshall
15:30-17:00PExercises with a 1-D radiation model

Using an online version of a real one-dimensional radiative transfer model, various experiments will be undertaken. This will allow one to test the effect of changing the quantity of various greenhouse gases, the aerosol optical depth, the cloud properties, and the surface albedo, among other things. It should provide the doctoral researchers with a better feeling of what 1 W/m2 means.

Julia Marshall
March 14
 DynamicsChristoph Gerbig, Christian Roedenbeck
9:00-10:30LMotion in atmosphere and ocean, hydrologic cycle
  • global circulation of the atmosphere
  • frontal systems
  • basics of global ocean circulation
  • hydrologic cycle, clouds
Christoph Gerbig
11:00-12:30LNumerical transport modeling
  • Meteorological observation systems
  • Meteorological data assimilation
  • Reanalysis, reanalysis products
  • Atmospheric tracer transport
  • Application: Atmospheric inversion
Christian Rödenbeck
14:00-17:00PExercises with numerical transport models

We will use a Lagrangian Dispersion Model (LPDM) and a global Transport Model to see how atmospheric transport and mixing of emissions and biosheric fluxes affects the distribution of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Christoph Gerbig and Christian Rödenbeck
March 15
 Surface exchangeChristoph Gerbig, Olaf Kolle
9:00-10:30LLand surface climatology
  • fluxes at the land surface
  • albedo climate feedback
  • biophysical feedback
Boundary layer meteorology
  • general characteristics, structure and diurnal cycle
  • atmospheric stability
Christoph Gerbig
11:00-11:45LBoundary layer meteorology (cont.)
  • atmospheric turbulence
  • scaling laws
Christoph Gerbig
11:45-12:30LEddy flux measurements
  • turbulent fluxes
  • eddy covariance method
  • measurement technique
Olaf Kolle
14:00-17:00PApplication of eddy covariance method:
  • demonstration of eddy covariance measurement system at the institute
  • processing of eddy covariance data
Olaf Kolle
March 21
 Climate, Feedbacks and ChangeAxel Kleidon, Martin Heimann
09:00-10:30LThe global ocean carbon cycleMartin Heimann
11:00-13:00L, PApplication: Global Change
  • anthropogenic and natural drivers
  • impact on radiative forcing
  • detection and attribution of climate change
  • climate projections for this century
  • long term (millenia) climate change
  • mitigation
  • geoengineering
Martin Heimann
14:00-15:30LClimatology, feedbacks, climate modellingAxel Kleidon



6.  Course material

Presentation of Axel Kleidon: Basics
Presentation of Dietrich Feist: Radiation in the Earth's Atmosphere - Absorption and Emission by Atmospheric Gases
Presentation of Christoph Gerbig: Dynamics - Motion in atmosphere and ocean, hydrologic cycle
Practicals of Christoph Gerbig
Presentation of Christian Rödenbeck: Numerical modeling of atmospheric transport
Presentation of Christoph Gerbig: Surface exchange
Presentation of Olaf Kolle: Surface exchange, part 1
Presentation of Olaf Kolle: Surface exchange, part 2
Presentation of Martin Heimann: Ocean biogeochemistry
Presentation of Martin Heimann: Global Change

Simple climate model. (You need the Wolfram CDF Player to run this)
Simple coupled carbon cycle - climate model. (You need the Wolfram CDF Player to run this)


7.  Feedback of the participants

Survey results on the general assessment and each module is available here. Statistics and statements should not be taken as an exhaustive or exclusive list.


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