Core course: Atmosphere & Ocean

1.  Concept

IMPRS-gBGC core courses introduce PhD students 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.


2.  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.


3.  Registration

Link to registration page


4.  Agenda

Legend L = Lecture, D = Demonstration, P = Practical, E = Excursion

Mon  BasicsAxel Kleidon
8:30-8:50B0.002LOverview of the module: goals, expectations 
8:50-9:30B0.002LIntroduction to the climate system: atmosphere, ocean, land, ice, interior, structure, composition, global biogeochemical cycles, human activity and global change 
9:30-11:00B0.002L, PAtmospheric 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 
14:00-14:45B0.002L, PRadiative forcing: basic radiation laws, radiative temperature, variations in solar radiation, greenhouse effect 
14:45-15:30B0.002L, PPlanetary energy balance: components of the global energy balance, atmospheric heat transport, planetary comparison 
15:45-16:30B0.002L, PBiogeochemical cycles: global cycles, residence times, geology and biogeochemical cycles, evolution of atmospheric composition 
16:30-17:00B0.002 Wrap-up: summary, next steps, feedback
Tue  RadiationDietrich Feist, Julia Marshall
9:00-12:00B0.002L, 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
14:00-15:30B0.002LAttenuation 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
15:30-17:00B0.002PExercises 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 students with a better feeling of what 1 W/m2 means.

Julia Marshall
Wed  DynamicsChristoph Gerbig, Christian Roedenbeck
9:00-10:30C1.011LMotion in atmosphere and ocean, hydrologic cycle
  • global circulation of the atmosphere
  • frontal systems
  • basics of global ocean circulation
  • hydrologic cycle, clouds
Christoph Gerbig
11:00-12:30C1.011LNumerical transport modeling
  • Meteorological observation systems
  • Meteorological data assimilation
  • Reanalysis, reanalysis products
  • Atmospheric tracer transport
  • Application: ``Atmospheric inversion''
Christian Rödenbeck
14:00-17:00C1.011PExercises 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
Thu  Surface exchangeUte Karstens, Olaf Kolle
9:00-10:30B0.002LLand surface climatology
  • fluxes at the land surface
  • albedo climate feedback
  • biophysical feedback
Boundary layer meteorology
  • general characteristics, structure and diurnal cycle
  • atmospheric stability
Ute Karstens
11:00-11:45B0.002LBoundary layer meteorology (cont.)
  • atmospheric turbulence
  • scaling laws
Ute Karstens
11:45-12:30B0.002LEddy flux measurements
  • turbulent fluxes
  • eddy covariance method
  • measurement technique
Olaf Kolle
14:00-17:00B0.002PApplication of eddy covariance method:
  • demonstration of eddy covariance measurement system at the institute
  • processing of eddy covariance data
Olaf Kolle
Fri  Climate, Feedbacks and ChangeAxel Kleidon, Martin Heimann
09:00-10:30B0.002LClimatology, feedbacks, climate modellingAxel Kleidon
10:45-12:15B0.002LThe global ocean carbon cycleMartin Heimann
14:00-17:00B0.002L, 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

5.  Course material

5.1  Monday

Introduction and Basics by Axel Kleidon


5.2  Tuesday

Radiative transfer Part One
Radiative transfer Part Two by Julia Marshall


5.3  Wednesday

Numerical modeling of atmospheric transport by Christian Roedenbeck
Dynamics Part One by Christoph Gerbig


5.4  Thursday

Surface exchange by Ute Karstens
Eddy Covariance by Olaf Kolle


5.5  Friday

Climate sensitivity, feedbacks and modeling by Axel Kleidon
Global Ocean Carbon Cycles by Martin Heimann
Global Change by Martin Heimann
Ocean Exercises by Martin Heimann

To run the climate models please download the software using the following link
Climate model 1 by Martin Heimann
Climate model 2 by Martin Heimann


6.  Feedback

Thanks a lot for participating in this survey! Your feedback is valuable because it helps the instructors and organizers to improve the individual modules and the general structure of the course.
The survey results are given here. Statistics and statements should not be taken as an exhaustive or exclusive list.


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