Ocean Circulation and Dynamics, Ocean’s Role in Climate
My overall research interest is the fundamental understanding of the physics of the basin-scale ocean and its role in Earth’s climate. I am involved in improving estimates of the geophysical state of the ocean circulation through analysis of field data and circulation model results. The subpolar North Atlantic and Arctic Ocean ventilation process (rates, pathways, variability, and mechanisms) interest me in particular. High latitude physical oceanography, in both hemispheres, is another research theme. I also investigate key physical processes that maintain the state of the global upper ocean focusing on fluid dynamics and thermodynamics and their role in controlling sea surface temperature variability over years to decades. These are all examples of rotating stratified fluid dynamics, an amazing and beautiful subject.
Knowledge of these processes is vital if we are to describe and understand climatic fluctuations on time-scales of years to decades. At these low frequencies we know that the ocean and atmosphere interact as a coupled system. Understanding low frequency natural climate perturbations is clearly a problem of special current relevance. Further, explaining natural climate variability is a prerequisite of addressing mankind’s effect on global climate.
Moreover, this understanding guides our thinking about other oceans in time and space. Recent discoveries of extra-terrestrial oceans in our solar system and recognition of how much Earth’s ocean has changed in the past, galvanizes me to think about the role of oceans in planetary system dynamics writ large.
Or, to quote the visionary polymath Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859):
It is the duty of philosophers to determine and adjust their various elements, according to the sublime model of astronomical science, in order that some of those eternal laws may be made known by which the climatic changes of the firmament are dependent on the liquid and aerial currents of our planet.
2012–2018 Morton K. Blaustein Chair and Professor of Earth & Planetary Sciences, Johns Hopkins University.
2000– Assistant, Associate, then Full Professor, Johns Hopkins University.
1996 University Lecturer in Physics, University of Oxford, UK.
1994 Postdoc, MIT.
1993 Ph.D. Physical Oceanography, University of Southampton, UK (alumnus profile).
1992 M.A. Physics & Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge, UK.
1988 B.A. Physics & Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge, UK
RSS news feed: https://sites.krieger.jhu.edu/haine/?feed=rss2
News & Announcements
The Poseidon Project team has published a commentary in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society with the title above. Read the article here to find out why we think the answer is YES!
Associate Research Scientist Renske Gelderloos has published a paper in JPO on Coastal Trapped Waves and other subinertial variability along the Southeast Greenland Coast in a realistic numerical simulation. The abstract reads:Ocean currents along the Southeast Greenland Coast play an important role in the climate system. They carry dense water over the Denmark Strait sill,… Read more »
Tom gave a talk at the 2020 IDIES & MINDS Symposium. The title is: Towards the Development of Scale-Dependent, Non-Local, Turbulent Closures in Rotating Stratified Flows. The talk reports on the 2020 IDIES Seed Fund Award to Tom and Charles Menenveau. Postdoc Miguel Jimenez Urias did the work, which involves a new exact solution to… Read more »
Former postdoc Aleksi Nummelin has published a paper in the Journal of Physical Oceanography. The title is “Diagnosing the Scale and Space Dependent Horizontal Eddy Diffusivity at the Global Surface Ocean.” See the preprint here.
The Poseidon Project team has submitted a commentary to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society on the rise of Computational Oceanography. See the preprint here.
Mattia Almansi and Tom have contributed to a manuscript led by WHOI collaborator Mike Spall. The title is “Lateral redistribution of heat and salt in the Nordic Seas” and Mike’s submitted it to Progress in Oceanography.
Tom has submitted a commentary article to Geophysical Research Letters. The commentary concerns the recent paper by Jahn & Laiho (2020) that the observed freshwater accumulation in the Arctic Ocean is anthropogenic. The Abstract reads: Arctic Ocean freshwater storage increased since the mid 1990s, but the cause was unknown. Now a recent paper by Jahn… Read more »
Graduate student Atousa Saberi has published a paper in the Journal of Physical Oceanography entitled “Lagrangian Perspective on the Origins of Denmark Strait Overflow”. See the paper here!
David Trossman, collaborator and former Johns Hopkins postdoc working at NASA GSFC, has submitted a manuscript to JAMES on Tracer Versus Observationally-Derived Constraints on Ocean Mixing Parameters in an Adjoint-Based Data Assimilation Framework. See the preprint here.
Tom has submitted a paper to JPO called A Conceptual Model of Polar Overturning Circulations. Here’s the abstract: The global ocean overturning circulation carries warm, salty water to high latitudes, both in the Arctic and Antarctic. Interaction with the atmosphere transforms this inflow into three distinct products: sea ice, surface Polar Water, and deep Overflow… Read more »