651-2124-00: Atmospheric General Circulation Dynamics


Prof. Tapio Schneider
NO G 55
Office hours: Fridays 15:45-16:30h


Held, I. M., 2000: The General Circulation of the Atmosphere. Lecture Notes, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Available here.

Holton, J. R., 2004: An Introduction to Dynamic Meteorology. 4th ed. Elsevier.

Vallis, G. K., 2006: Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics. Cambridge UP.

Teaching Assistants

Ori Adam
NO G 60


Wednesdays 13-15h, NO D 69

Mondays 13-14h, NO D 69


  • Homework 1 [PDF]

    Due Date: March 21
  • Homework 2 [PDF]

    Due Date: April 6
  • Homework 3 [PDF]

    Due Date: April 18
  • Homework 4 [PDF]

    Due Date: May 2
  • Homework 5 [PDF]

    Due Date: May 30

Grading Policy

  • Homework assignments: 70%
    • Homework assignments will be distributed on Mondays and are due two weeks later.
    • There will be 4-5 assignments.
    • Collaboration on homework sets is encouraged, but please turn in solutions individually and state on your solutions with whom you collaborated.
  • Presentations: 30%.

Schedule and Handouts

Papers (supplementary reading)

  • Paper


    Student/Presentation Date

  • First numerical simulation of the general circulation with a two-layer model.

    Fabian Thüring, Lukas Strebel (May 11)
  • The energy cycle of the atmosphere.

    Julian Westermeier (May 18)
  • Charney-Drazin filtering: why only the largest planetary waves make it into the stratosphere.

    Laurent Eriksen (May 25)
  • Life cycles of baroclinic waves that become nonlinear.

    Daniel Steinfeld (May 18)
  • Eliassen-Palm and potential vorticity fluxes and how to use them to analyze atmospheric dynamics.

  • Review of stationary wave theory.

  • Genesis and ray tracing of stationary waves and how they give rise to teleconnections.

  • An overview of the history of general circulation theories.

  • Shows that waves dominating the momentum transport dissipate near critical latitudes.

  • Overview of how jets form and of their characteristic scales.

  • Review of storm track dynamics.

    Leonie Villiger, Matthias Roethlisberger (May 18)
  • Review of ENSO dynamics

    Christian Sommer (June 1)
  • Present evidence for weakening of tropical Walker circulation under global warming.

    Lars van Galen, Gianluca Bergami (June 1)
  • Review of ocean overturning theories and upwelling in Southern Ocean

    Arian Bastani (May 25)

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