Atmosphere-Ocean-Ice Interactions

The ocean and sea ice system are primarily driven by the atmospheric circulation and surface radiation budget, through momentum and buoyancy fluxes. We investigate the interplay between these systems on various space and time scales.

Icebergs around Greenland
Icebergs around Greenland
Thomas Spengler

Due to their large heat capacity they can store and transport heat on diurnal to centennial and longer timescales. When this heat is released back to the atmosphere it may influence climate. Thus, the memory of the ocean and sea ice system is a potential source of climate predictability.

On the large scale we research how the ocean-sea ice system can drive large scale Atmospheric circulation changes and to whether a feedback two systems exists leading to coupled ocean-atmosphere variability.

We also have an interest on meso-scale processes along the sea-ice edge and their impact on the coupled atmosphere-ocean-ice system.

The main foci of atmosphere-ocean-ice research at GFI are:

  • Tropical intra-seasonal variability and teleconnection
  • Tropical and mid-latitude cyclones and their interaction with the ocean
  • Mid-latitude ocean atmosphere interaction over sharp SST fronts and the role of the stratosphere 
  • Inter-annual and long-term sea ice–atmosphere interaction
  • Meso-scale flow phenomena along topography and the ice edge