Physics of the Ocean

Bad Honnef Physics School

02 Jul - 07 Jul 2023


Physikzentrum Bad Honnef

Scientific organizers:

Prof. Dr. Martin Visbeck, GEOMAR Kiel • Prof. Dr. Sabrina Speich, Ecole Normale Supérieure - PSL, France • Prof. Dr. David Marshall, Oxford University, UK

This summer school includes not only lectures on ocean physics, but also addresses its interaction with the global climate, marine biogeochemical and ecological systems, as well as overarching topics in marine research. This comprehensive and integrative approach shall provide the participants with the necessary basis to orient themselves in present and future large international research programs (e.g. WCRP - CLIVAR, IOC – GOOS, United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)), many of which specifically address the interfaces and interactions between the ocean physics and other environmental compartments. Moreover, the summer school is expected to advance the interaction and collaboration between young scientists active in this research area.

Environmental Physics is a rapidly growing research area, focusing on processes within our environment, i.e., in the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, geosphere, and biosphere. Physical ocean processes directly affect the global distribution and transports of ocean properties ranging from mass and temperature to the many dissolved substances (for example salt, nutrients, oxygen, CO2). Ocean processes are of particular relevance for the global and regional climate systems, and they set the stage for marine element cycling and the marine ecosystem as a whole. Oceanographers study the fluxes of energy and matter in the ocean using direct observation, modeling and theory. The relevant scales range from vertical ocean mixing at the micro scale (cm) to mesoscale stirring (km) right up to the planetary scale of the global ocean circulation. From the regional to the local scale, coastal seas host a suite of physical processes relevant for understanding the effects of external pressures due to environmental change (from climate to population growth associated with eutrophication, dredging, and offshore constructions). A large part of the education and training in ocean physics is done in conjunction with related disciplines, such as meteorology, marine biogeochemistry, or geophysics.