Core course: Atmosphere & Ocean

Date & Place

May 02-06, 2011
start on Monday at 10 a.m., on the other days at 9 a.m.
Seminar room B0.002



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.



More information will follow after April 15, 2011.
Legend L = Lecture, D = Demonstration, P = Practical, E = Excursion

Mon BasicsAxel Kleidon, Christoph Gerbig
10:00-10:20LOverview of the module: goals, expectations 
10:20-11:00LIntroduction to the climate system: atmosphere, ocean, land, ice, interior, structure, composition, global biogeochemical cycles, human activity and global change 
11:00-12:30L, 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 
14:00-14:45L, PRadiative forcing: basic radiation laws, radiative temperature, variations in solar radiation, greenhouse effect 
14:45-15:30L, PPlanetary energy balance: components of the global energy balance, atmospheric heat transport, planetary comparison 
15:45-16:30L, PBiogeochemical cycles: global cycles, residence times, geology and biogeochemical cycles, evolution of atmospheric composition 
16:30-17:00 Wrap-up: summary, next steps, feedback
Tue RadiationDietrich Feist, Julia Marshall
9:00-10:30LAbsorption 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
Dietrich Feist
11:00-12:30LAttenuation 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
14:00-17:00PExercises 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 students with a better feeling of what 1 W/m2 means.

Julia Marshall and Dietrich Feist
Wed Surface exchangeUte Karstens, 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
Ute Karstens
11:00-11:45LBoundary layer meteorology (cont.)
  • atmospheric turbulence
  • scaling laws
Ute Karstens
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
Thu 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
Fri Climate, Feedbacks and ChangeAxel Kleidon, Martin Heimann
09:00-10:30LThe global ocean carbon cycleMartin Heimann
10:45-12:15Lclimatology, feedbacks, climate modellingAxel Kleidon
14:00-17:00L, 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
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