The ocean : A turbulent control system for the Earth’s climate

Sabrina Speich (Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, ENS) — May 11

Abstact :
Today, we can consider the ocean as the key component of the climate system. Because of its ability to take up heat and absorb greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), the ocean has greatly neutralized the effects of increasing human-sourced greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and has helped to reduce substantially the rate of climate change.
However, the ocean remains woefully understudied due to its vastness and to the technical difficulties of ocean observations. Moreover, ocean dynamics are highly turbulent. Measuring, modeling and understanding such complex and rapidly varying processes, together with the air-sea interactions related to the ocean, represent major scientific challenges in climate science. To unveil these unknowns and uncertainties is an essential step toward predicting future climate evolution in a more reliable manner.
In this talk, I will highlight some of the most recent progress we made in understanding processes, observing the ocean and modeling capabilities, and some of the challenges that still need to be addressed. These include a well-coordinated international effort to develop and organize a fit-for-purpose innovative ocean observing system.

Biography :
Sabrina Speich is a Professor at the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique at ENS. She studied Physics in Italy before undertaking a career in Physical Oceanography and Climate Sciences.
Sabrina’s interests include uncovering and understanding the ocean dynamics, and its role in climate variability and change. She recently focussed her research on scale interactions in ocean dynamics and air-sea exchanges.

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