Aims and Objectives
Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:
- Understand ocean-atmosphere-cryosphere interactions, in relation to weather and climate
- Apply Lagrangian diagnostics to understand ocean circulation and mixing
- Synthesize observations and models to explain the ocean's key role in climate change
- Understand the utility of numerical ocean models for simulation and prediction
- Quantify large-scale ocean processes in terms of water mass transformation
The module will explore processes that determine the physical state and circulation of the World Ocean. Observations and model data will be used together with a water mass transformation framework and virtual particle tracking, to explore how the ocean is forced to move and mix. Following an introduction to ocean and atmosphere re-analysis datasets, and ocean/climate models, analyses will be undertaken to reveal the patterns and timescales of climate variability and change, with a focus on dramatic changes that have played out across the North Atlantic and Arctic since 1980.
Computer based practicals and example sheets will underline key concepts in the module.
Learning and Teaching
Teaching and learning methods
Formal Lectures (20 x forty-five minutes): in the first half of the module, lectures introduce water masses, the basic character of ocean currents and ocean circulation, and the water mass transformation framework; in the second half of the module, lectures introduce re-analysis data for the ocean and atmosphere, and ocean/climate models, proceeding to cover processes driving climate variability and change in low, mid and high latitudes, with a focus on the North Atlantic and Arctic
Practical sessions (10 x 2 hour computing practicals): in the first half of the module, particle trajectory data are analysed to obtain key Lagrangian statistics for selected current systems in the World Ocean, followed analysis of surface properties and heat/freshwater fluxes to diagnose water mass transformation, globally and for the North Atlantic; in the second half of the module, ocean, atmosphere and cryosphere data are analysed to reveal patterns and timescales of climate variability and change since 1980.
Tutorial Support: will be available within scheduled sessions.
A wide range of support can be provided for those students who have further or specific learning and teaching needs.
|Practical classes and workshops||20|
|Total study time||156|
Summative assessment description