Ocean Statistics

Senior Scientist: Jin-Song von Storch


In the context of climate, climate variability and climate sensitivity, statistics come into play when the considered climate component, normally a  large-scale component such as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), interacts with other smaller-scale components, such as oceanic meso-scale eddies or fluctuating fluxes at the sea surface induced by atmospheric variability. On the one hand, the interactions introduce irregularities in the behavior of the large-scale component. On the other hand, they result in statistical terms (high-order terms) in a consolidated description of the large-scale component, which need to be expressed to close the description. Due to these interactions, climate sensitivity depends not only on large-scale dynamical processes and feedbacks, but also on the representation of small-scale components. The primary mission of the Ocean Statistics Group is to understand these interactions and to evaluate their impact on climate, climate predication and climate sensitivity. The main tools are global general circulation models capable of realistically resolving the relevant small-scale components.

In the long term, the Ocean Statistics Group aims to assess the climate prediction problem from the point of view of statistical physics. We consider a climate prediction as a prediction of statistics of a climate component (e.g. the AMOC or the global temperature), subjected to a given external forcing. Performing such a prediction requires the knowledge of the governing equation of the respective probability density function (PDF) that reflects the interaction between the large-scale components of interests and the remaining components on a macroscopic level. Even though efforts have been made, many features of these PDFs are still poorly known. Improving our knowledge about these PDFs and their governing equations will be the long-term goal of the Ocean Statistics Group.


  • National: 
    • Opens external link in current windowMiKlip: Mittelfristige Klimaprognosen (Decadal Predictions)
    • Opens external link in current windowSFB 512: Tiefdruckgebiete und Klima des Nordatlantiks (Cyclones and the North Atlantic Climate System)
    • Opens external link in current windowSTORM: High-resolution community climate change simulations
    • CLISAP: Stochastic parameterizations in atmosphere and ocean models and their implications for climate prediction
    • TRR181: Energy transfers in atmosphere and ocean: TP-W2: Energy transfer through low-mode internal waves, TP-L2: The interior energy pathway: internal wave emission by quasi-balanced flows
  • EU: 
    • THOR: Predictability of the Atlantic Thermohaline Circulation
    • COMBINE - Comprehensive Modelling of the Earth System for Better Climate Prediction and Projection
    • PRIMAVERA - PRocess based climate sIMulation:AdVance in high-resolution modelling and European climate Risk Assessment
  • Integrative activities within the institute:
    • Managing and quantifying uncertainties in Earth System Models
    • MPI-STORM: high-resolution modelling, 2013-2015

Former group members

name working period e-mail
Fangxing Tian Phd Candidate 2013-2016
Antonija Rimac Phd Candidate 2011-2014
Oliver Bothe Scientist 2015 undefinedOliver.Bothe@hzg.de
Jürgen Kröger Scientist 2012-2014 undefinedjuergen.kroeger@mpimet.mpg.de
Hongmei Li Scientist 2009-2012 undefinedhongmei.li@mpimet.mpg.de
Eleftheria Exarchou Phd Candidate 2012 undefinede.exarchou@reading.ac.uk
Daniel Hernández-Deckers Phd Candidate 2007-2011 undefinedd.hernandez@unsw.edu.au
Rita Seiffert Phs Candidate 2009 undefinedrita.seiffert@mpimet.mpg.de
Oliver Krueger Master student 2009 oliver.krueger@hzg.de
Florian Rauser Master student 2007 florian.rauser@mpimet.mpg.de
Balan Sarojini Beena Phd Candidate 2002-2006 undefinedb.balansarojini@reading.ac.uk