24/08/202031/08/2020
Askö Laboratory, Trosa, Sweden

International Baltic Earth Summer School “Climate of the Baltic Sea Region”

The course will focus on past and future changes in climate of the Baltic Sea region. The Baltic Sea is a semi-enclosed sea with a large freshwater supply from rivers of the adjacent catchment area in the transition zone between maritime and continental climates in northern Europe. Many long-term observational data are available and provide a good knowledge about oceanic changes during the past two centuries and even longer periods. Proxy-data of the past 1,000 to 2,000 years bear witness of a pronounced climate variability in the region.

Students will be introduced into fundamental processes of the atmosphere, ocean, sea-ice and land surface with relevance for the climate system. The course will start from basic principles and equations of motion that describe the circulation and dynamics in the atmosphere, ocean and sea-ice. The available knowledge in the literature about water and energy balances will be presented. Further basic methods of the analysis and modeling of the regional climate system will be introduced, including the statistical analysis of time series to identify changes in regional climate. Atmospheric pressure patterns of the large-scale circulation like the North Atlantic circulation with influence on the Baltic Sea and the corresponding catchment area will be explained.

The students will also be introduced into the functioning of the wind-driven and thermohaline circulations of the Baltic Sea. Furthermore, the course will deal with coupled atmosphere-ocean climate models, climate change, the greenhouse gas effect and other drivers of regional climate, dynamical downscaling, and the variability of circulation and regional climate. The possible impact of climate change on the marine ecosystem including biogeochemical cycles will also be studied.

With the help of teachers from several disciplines, a holistic Earth System approach will be presented although the main focus of the course is on the physical aspects of changing climate. In addition to lectures, tutorials, exercises and literature studies the course will give the students the opportunity to discuss the learned topics further during group exercises.

The deadline for applications is 1 May 2020.

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