Coupled one-dimensional models of air-sea interaction will be studied with a view towards understanding the importance of interactions of the turbulent boundary layers with each other, and with the interior of their respective fluids. Finally, the subject of the influence of horizontal variability will be opened, with the objective of appreciating the role that ocean and atmosphere dynamics play in modulating the thermodynamics of the turbulent boundary layers, and as an introduction to the associated course on Large-Scale Ocean-Atmosphere Interactions.
In order to appreciate the complexity of the large-scale problems, students will need to have taken a class with some lectures on local air-sea interaction theory and observations, along with current theory of turbulent planetary boundary layers. Knowledge of methods of measuring fluxes between the atmosphere and the ocean will also be assumed.
With this background, feedback mechanisms associated with the fluxes of heat, moisture, and momentum between ocean and atmosphere will be investigated, with the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zones and the Walker Circulation as two examples. This leads into a detailed analysis of the El Nino/Southern Oscillation phenomenon, and on to the subject of tropical- extratropical interactions in both fluids. Recent general circulation modelling results will be discussed. Finally, the subjects of interdecadal time-scale climate change and the ice ages are explored.
This course will concentrate on the observation of oceanic water mass properties and fluid motions, the sea surface topography, and the fluxes of moisture, heat, and momentum across the air-sea interface. Such observations are essential to the understanding of the physical processes which drive the ocean circulation, generate internal and surface waves, and dissipate energy.
Modern oceanographic instrumentation will be presented briefly. Some discussion of remote sensing techniqes (eg., satellite observations of sea level, sea surface temperature, and wind stress) is appropriate, but will not be comprehensive. The emphasis will be on in situ observations.
Observational strategies will be addressed, including such issues as sampling density and array design. Examples from actual field programs will be used to illustrate the concepts.
Recent field programs will be reviewed in order to give the student with a comprehensive overview of the state-of-the-art in observational physical oceanography, especially with respect to the scientific objectives.