Physical Oceanography

Lecture content:

The ocean is a main player in the global climate system by storing more than 90% of the global energy increase in the last 50 years and by storing about 30% of the carbon emitted by fossil fuel combustion and land use change. Responsible for both are physical processes. In this lecture we discuss mainly 1) the forcing of the ocean through surface fluxes of heat, freshwater, and momentum, 2) the dynamic role of temperature and salinity and mixing, 3) the basic physical equations for oceanic motions and their approximations, 4) formation and spreading of water masses, and 5) coupled atmosphere - oceanic modes like El Nino - Southern Oscillation ENSO or the North Atlantic Oscillation NAO.