The amount of knowledge is increasing exponentially. This means that universities and schools can certainly no longer teach everything there is to know. What is important is that we teach how to deal with knowledge. Learning how to learn.

Content of Lectures (selected)

Dynamics courses
The focus of the course is to identify the underlying dynamics for the atmosphere-ocean system. This is done through theory, numerical models, and statistical data analysis. It has been recognized that the atmospheric and oceanic flow binds together the interactions between the biosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and atmosphere that control the planetary environment. The fundamental concepts of atmosphere-ocean flow, energetics, vorticity, wave motion are described. This includes atmospheric wave motion, extratropical synoptic scale systems, the oceanic wind driven and thermohaline circulation. These phenomena are described using the dynamical equations, observational and proxy data, as well basic physical and mathematical concepts. Practicals complement the lessons.
(link to Dynamics II)

Abrupt climate change: Modelling and Theory
One can define abrupt climate change in the time and frequency domain. a) Time domain: Abrupt climate change refers to a large shift in climate that persists for years or longer, such as marked changes in average temperature, or altered patterns of storms, floods, or droughts, over a widespread area that takes place so rapidly that the natural system has difficulty adapting to it. b) Frequency domain: An abrupt change means that the characteristic periodicity changes. Also the phase relation between certain climate variables may change in a relatively short time. For both types of changes examples will be provided. The content of the course will include concepts, time series analysis as well as modelling using simplified climate models.
The script is based on: Lohmann, G., 2009: Abrupt Climate Change Modelling. In Meyers, Robert (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Complexity and Systems Science, Vol 1, pp 1 - 21. Springer New York. ISBN: 978-0-387-75888-6.

Paleoclimate Dynamics
In attempting to account for long-term paleoclimatic variations, we are led to broaden our view of the climate system and to restructure our approach to a fuller theory of climate. We begin by describing the external forcing of the climate system and the observed response, as represented by proxy evidence for paleoclimatic variations. One focus of the course is to identify driving mechanisms for climate change. This is done through numerical models of the Earth system and statistical analysis of instrumental and proxy data. Special areas: feedback mechanisms in the climate system; the role of the global oceanic thermohaline circulation for paleo and recent climate variations; deglaciation; Holocene climate; Glacial climate; Climate modes like ENSO and NAO; Milankovitch theory of the ice ages. Practicals complement the lessons.
Dynamical Paleoclimatology - a generalized theory of global climate change, B. Saltzman, Academic Press, San Diego, 2002, 345 pp.
The nature of mathematical modeling, N. Gershenfeld, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2003, 344 pp.
Selected Literature
  Geological Time Machine (Berkley)
  Tectonic Reconstructions

Dynamical system concepts and their application in climate sciences
Dynamical systems theory provides powerful tools to help understand problems related to the complex climate system. The efforts include the stability of fluid flows, bifurcation theory, regime shifts, and the dynamics of simplified climate models.

Mathematics Introductory Course for the Master Programme "Environmental Physics"
Divergence and integral theorems (divergence and curl operator, vector integration, theorems of Gauss and Stokes)
(Overview, Worksheet)
Basic Linear Algebra (vectors, matrices, dot and cross products, matrix inverse, eigenvalues/eigenvectors, gradient operator, vector spaces)
Ordinary differential equations (chain rule, integral, solutions of ODEs, logistic equation)
Partial differential equations (transport equation, diffusion, advection, wave equations)

Einführung in Atmosphäre und Klima

  • Dynamische Grundgleichungen
    Strömungsmechanischen Erhaltungsgleichungen
    Der Einfluß der Erddrehung

  • Abgeleitete Gleichungsformen: Vorticity
    Rossby und Kelvin wellen

  • Allgemein Klima
    Energiebilanzmodelle mit Übung
    Konzeptmodelle im Klimasystemv Boxmodelle, Stochastic climate model
    Erdsystemmodellierung (e.g., What is the difference between weather and climate?
    Let us take the football league as an example. Predicting the outcome of the next game is difficult, but predicting who will end up as German champion is (unfortunately) relatively easy.)

  • Paläoklimadynamik
    Statistische Analyse von instrumentellen und geowissenschaftlichen Daten

  • Some thoughts on creativity
    IPCC WG1 , IPCC Zusammenfassung , Teil 1, Teil 2, Teil 3

    Einführung in die Ozeanographie

    Diese Vorlesung verfolgt mehrere Ziele:
    1. eine Vorstellung der physikalischen Grundlagen zur Ozeanographie
    2. Beispiele und Rechnungen zur Dynamik des Ozeans; Beispiele von Meßmethoden
    3. die Erlernung und Anwendung von R, Matlab, Fortran als mathematisch-numerisches Werkzeug.

  • R. H. Stewart, 2008: Introduction To Physical Oceanography,
  • J. Marchal, R. A. Plumb, 2008. Atmosphere, Ocean and Climate Dynamics: AnIntroductory Text. Academic Press, 344 pp
  • A. E. Gill, 1982: Atmosphere–Ocean Dynamics, Academic Press, Orlando
  • G. Lohmann, 2009, Vorlesungsskript
  • Klimaänderungen, 2007, Synthesebericht zum Sachstandsbericht (wird verteilt)
  • T. F. Stocker, 2002. Einführung in die Klimamodellierung, Skript Universität Bern
  • R. Müller, 2009: Klassische Mechanik -- vom Weitsprung zum Marsflug (de Gruyter)

    Basics of Environmental Physics and Climate

    Date: July 3, 2023
    Location: Klussmannstr. 3, 27570 Bremerhaven, Building H

    The approach of this Blockseminar has several sides:
    1) We revisit underlying laws and empirical findings, and discuss new developments and issues. This will be done on the basis of the regularly taught lectures in the PEP program at the University of Bremen. We ask ourselves the question: What is the essence of the topics in this field? What are the fundamental concepts behind them? Have perspectives possibly changed in the past? This part is essentially held by the lecturers in the study program (based on short presentations of max. 10 min). We have here an in-depth discussion of fundamental questions.
    2) The compilation and discussion will allow younger colleagues to get the essence of the environment and climate research in a condensed way, ask questions and get background knowledge as it is expected e.g. in disputations. Interesting to know if there are scientific controversies in the themes.
    3) The new AWI climate building at Klußmannstr. 3 in Bremerhaven will be presented. There will be a short guided tour as well as a buffet.
    4) Using posters (happy to recycle posters from conferences), we will have time to discuss new scientific contributions in detail.
    5) In the afternoon, there will be breakout group to evaluate opportunities for new joint projects. We have complementary opportunities to write research proposals at both AWI and the university (e.g. DFG), which can complement each other in ideal ways. Experienced as well as younger researchers can also mix for these working groups in order to stimulate the process and, if possible, to initiate writing a proposal.

    Physics of Snow including practicals

  • Preparation lectures
  • Exercises during the day (Harz or Alps mountains): Physics of Skiing
  • Snow, ice and climate: Lectures in the afternoon

  • Kenneth G Libbrecht, 2005: The physics of snow crystals, pdf
  • Marchal, J., Plumb, R. A., 2008. Atmosphere, Ocean and Climate Dynamics: An Introductory Text. Academic Press, 344 pp; videos pdf
  • Lohmann, G., 2020: Climate Dynamics: Concepts, Scaling and Multiple Equilibria. Lecture Notes 2020, Bremen, Germany. (pdf of the script)
  • David Lind, Scott Sanders, 2004: The Physics of Skiing, DOI:10.1007/978-1-4757-4345-6, ISBN 978-1-4419-1834-5, Springer, New York

    Process of observation and interpretation

    In science, it is important to distinguish between an observation and an interpretation. Observations are things we measure; while interpretations are the conclusions we derive from those observations. In well-designed experiments the resulting interpretations are the only possible explanations for the observations—but this is a rare occurrence. More often, alternate interpretations are possible. Furthermore, most observations in physics and climate we make are indirect: you never measure meaning directly, but need assumptions and models before you can make an interpretation (see e.g. in quantum mechanics). This is also true for climate. Direct measurement is often expressed in terms of energy (remote ensing) or proxy data (geology), but what you want to know is: what is the temperature, how much rain is falling or how are changes in circulation? This requires a good understanding of the underlying processes, observational technology, and signal processing. A multidisciplinary approach is really needed here. The debate over the interpretation of data related to climate change as well as the interest in the consequences of these changes have led to an enormous increase in the number of scientific research studies addressing climate change. Data interpretation is not a free-for-all, nor are all interpretations equally valid. Interpretation involves constructing a logical scientific argument that explains the data. Scientific interpretations are neither absolute truth nor personal opinion: They are inferences, suggestions, or hypotheses about what the data mean, based on a foundation of scientific knowledge and individual expertise.
  • Data Analysis and Interpretation
  • Difference between Observation and Interpretation
  • Theory and Observation in Science
  • Science methods
  • Observations vs. Explanations