Description of the course

This course deals with aspects of the synoptic- to planetary-scale circulations in the atmosphere and the ocean. The focus is on phenomena that primarily are governed by fluid dynamics (rather than by radiative transfer and latent heating) and theoretical models are developed to study key processes. A central theme is the broad range of phenomena that can be studied with the quasi geostrophic potential vorticity equation, such as baroclinic and barotropic instability, and Rossby waves. The theory of wave–mean-flow interactions is examined and applied to the problem of jet formation. The course also covers some fundamental fluid dynamics, including vorticity conservation and an introduction to 3- and 2-dimensional turbulence. In addition, some features of the tropical circulation such as the Hadley Cells and equatorially-trapped waves are studied.

How is the course organized?

The course consists of lectures presented by both teachers and participants.


Examination is done by home exercises.

Course Literature

Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics, G. K. Vallis and research articles.

Responsible teacher - contact

Johan Nilsson