Ocean Statistics

Senior Scientist: Jin-Song von Storch


In the context of climate variability and climate sensitivity, statistic comes into play when the considered climate component, normally a  large-scale component such as the thermohaline circulation (THC), interacts with other smaller-scale components, such as oceanic 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 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 variations. The primary mission of the Ocean Statistics Group is to understand these interactions, to evaluate their impact on climate prediction/projection, to identify their effect on climate sensitivity. The main tools are general circulation models, including high-resolution models.


In the long term, the Ocean Statistics Group aims to assess the climate prediction problem from the point of view of statistical physics. Climate predictions deal with changes of statistics of a climate component (e.g. the THC or the global temperature) induced by changes in the external forcing. Performing such a prediction requires the knowledge of the governing equation of the PDF (probability density function) that describes the interaction between the components of interests and the remaining components on a macroscopic level. Even though efforts have been made, systematic derivations of macroscopic descriptions have not been possible and will be an important 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

  • 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
    • STORM: high-resolution modelling, 2013-2015

Former group members

name working period e-mail
Hongmei Li Postdoc 2009-2012 undefinedhongmei.li@mpimet.mpg.de
Eleftheria Exarchou Ph.D student 2012 undefinede.exarchou@reading.ac.uk
Daniel Hernández-Deckers Ph.D. student 2007-2011 undefinedd.hernandez@unsw.edu.au
Rita Seiffert Ph.D. student 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 Ph.D. Student 2002-2006 undefinedb.balansarojini@reading.ac.uk