Physical Oceanography and
Air/Sea Interaction

Our understanding of the physical properties of the ocean and its connection to the atmosphere has undergone a revolution in recent decades. Driving forces behind this revolution include massive increases in the data available from satellite-based instruments, as well as insights resulting from increasingly effective computer simulation. One consequence of this revolution has been an increasing appreciation of the interconnections between the ocean circulation, cryospheric and ocean bio-geochemical processes, and climate. Ocean-related research in this department primarily concerns improving understanding of these interconnections. Department projects include extensive studies of remotely sensed observations, tropical climate interactions, a major effort to develop and apply methods of data assimilation to reconstruct the changing climate of the oceans as well as the overlying atmosphere.