Public Lecture: A Maths/Physics View of Ocean Circulation, by Dr Stephen Griffies


Wednesday, 30 January 2019 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm


UNSW Science Theatre (map ref: F13), UNSW, Kensington Campus, Sydney

Join us for this free public lecture by American Geophysical Union Fellow Dr Stephen Griffies (Princeton).

Event details 

Date: Wednesday 30 January 2019
Time: 7pm – 8.30pm. Light refreshments available from 6pm
Venue: Science Theatre, UNSW

A Q & A session moderated by A/Prof Lisa Alexander from UNSW's Climate Change Research Centre will follow the talk. 


Ocean circulation acts like bloodlines for the planet, moving heat, oxygen, carbon, and nutrients around the world. Furthermore, ocean circulation moderates climate: think of the different climates between a maritime region (Sydney) and a mid-continent region (Alice Springs). Ocean circulation thus affects life both on land and within the ocean. When the ocean circulation slows or speeds, the climate system is affected.

Ocean and climate scientists aim to understand the physical mechanisms underlying changes in ocean circulation. What forces cause the changes? How predictable are they? To help answer these questions, oceanographers formulate mathematical equations for the governing physical laws and place the equations on supercomputers for grand simulations.

In this talk I will offer a sampling of the research questions confronting ocean scientists who make use of mathematics, physics, and computer simulations. Some of the questions touch upon the most difficult questions facing humanity in the 21st century.


Dr Stephen Griffies, Princeton University and NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton USA

Stephen Griffies has been at Princeton University and NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory since 1993. His research spans a broad spectrum of fundamental and applied areas of ocean and climate science, including numerical modelling, mesoscale and submesoscale dynamics, turbulence parameterizations, Southern Ocean dynamics, Atlantic predictability and variability, sea level science, Lagrangian and watermass analyses, and foundations of ocean fluid mechanics.

He is the 2014 recipient of the EGU Fridtjof Nansen medal for oceanographic excellence and is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union.