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Ocean Turbulence in Theory and Experiment

PhD School at the Faculty of SCIENCE at University of Copenhagen


This course is now closed for enrollment

On decadal to centennial time scales, Earth's climate change is controlled by ocean turbulence. This turbulence is the result of a downscale energy cascade that transfers energy from large scale sources like tides and wind to microscopic scales, where it provides mechanical energy to set the abyssal ocean into motion. It therefore controls the rate with which the ocean absorbs heat and carbon dioxide.

Measuring ocean turbulence in the abyssal ocean is a technical challenge. Turning the observations into estimates of mixing rates requires a solid understanding of theory, and translating the results into a component of numerical ocean models requires a background in computational fluid dynamics. One of the disconcerting side effects of this specialization is that climate scientists do not understand how observations can constrain models, and that observers do not measure what is relevant to understand climate.

This PhD school will bring together experts from all three communities - observers (Marshall, Oxford), theoreticians (Eden, Hamburg) and modellers (Jochum, NBI) - to teach the new generation of climate scientists how turbulence is measured, evaluated, and the information included into ocean models. The teaching will cover theory, numerical exercises, and hands-on observations in about equal parts.

The unique aspect of our PhD school is that it is located at a marine research station that was built with the main purpose to measure ocean turbulence and test instruments for marine research.


Guest lecturers
David Marshall, Oxford University
Carsten Eden, Hamburg University

Lecturer from NBI
Markus Jochum, Climate and Geophysics


Approx. 70h in total:
35h lectures & observations
30h self-study and preparation
5h evaluation & reporting


Course dates
21 July 2019 - 27 July 2019

2,5 points

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