Marius Winkler

Department Climate Physics IMPRS
Group Climate Surface Interaction
Position Phd Candidate
phone +49 40 41173-207
Room B 430
Shown are daily means of sea surface temperature in the equatorial Pacific Ocean from the ICON-Sapphire output.
The darker, blue shades represent the formation of the equatorial cold tongue. This forms as part of the Bjerknes feedback cycle due to wind-driven upwelling at the equator. Also look for the Tropical Instability Waves, these tentacle-like and important structures north and south of the cold tongue.

I am Marius, an atmospheric physicist and currently engaged as a PhD student at the IMPRS at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology.

My research centers around equatorial dynamics. As a kitesurfer and sailor, I am particularly interested in surface winds and processes within the atmospheric boundary layer over the oceans.
The equator is one of the warmest areas on our planet on an annual average. At the same time, there are wind-driven currents in the ocean that transport cold water masses to the surface where they interact with the warm atmosphere. We get a region with strong temperature gradients, which is a perfect starting situation for pressure gradients and resulting winds. Exciting, isn't it ?

(*"Der rote Faden" is a German idiom which refers to a common theme or thread that runs through a story (or a CV). It translates to "the red thread" in English)

I arrived at the Max Planck Institute in Hamburg by a roundabout way.
Nature, our Earth, and the universe have always interested me. That's why I started studying physics, in order to understand what holds the world together at its core.
Physics is magnificent: armed with a toolbox of mathematics, physicists look out into the world and strive to comprehend and quantify what's happening out there.
That intrigued me. That's what I wanted to do.

In Berlin, as part of my bachelor's thesis, I delved into complex networks governed by nonlinear dynamics. These complex networks aren't always visible to the naked eye, but they exist everywhere. For instance, in the human brain. During my master's thesis in Paris, as a member of a neuroscientific research group, I examined signal propagation and synchronization of neurons in the brain. Extreme and sudden synchronization can manifest as epilepsy, which afflicts many people.
Not only an exciting, but also incredibly important subject.

After completing my master's thesis, I wanted to stay in science. That was clear.
But I wanted to understand processes observable with the naked eye. As a journeyman shoemaker, complex processes are aesthetically appealing to me. Earth's climate and our atmosphere represent colossal complex networks. Furthermore, Earth's climate is subject to numerous nonlinear dynamics, bringing us back to the beginning of my career.

I am excited about many more years in the field of climate research !

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P.S. If you're curious to hear me speak, you can watch the video on the IMPRS website. For the shoot I had to ride several kilometers on my bike early in the morning, right after sunrise, on deserted streets in the Hamburger Speicherstadt. It was fun!

Equatorial Surface Winds over the Ocean

As part of my PhD research, I am studying the dynamics of surface winds over equatorial ocean basins. The factors contributing to the formation and persistence of surface winds are as varied as they are complex. By employing a momentum analysis, I uncover the driving forces that maintain these winds. This approach provides me with insights into the essential components of the "wind recipe". I am not doing this just for one specific ocean; rather, I am considering all equatorial ocean basins, each subject to fundamentally different dynamics. We learn that the pressure gradient force is crucial for surface winds. Other significant drivers are surface friction, horizontal advection, and vertical momentum transport, which interact in a balanced manner.

At the equator over the ocean, there is another intriguing phenomenon triggered by the east-west winds, known as "equatorial upwelling". The cause of this equatorial upwelling is rooted in the Coriolis force, which has different signs in the northern and southern hemispheres. Equatorial upwelling is characterized by the uplift of cold water masses from the ocean depths to the surface, where they interact with the overlying warm atmosphere. This leads to substantial temperature differences, generating pressure gradients that, in turn, drive winds.

We now understand that surface pressure gradients are key for surface winds. However, what determines surface pressure greadients ? As early as the late 1980s, scientists successfully tackled this question (see Lindzen&Nigam, 1987) and linked surface pressure to sea surface temperature. The transition from surface pressure to surface wind, however, is considerably more difficult, and the lack of high-resolution data has so far prevented us from shedding complete light on that matter.

Here at the Max Planck Institute in Hamburg, in collaboration with numerous partners such as the Deutschen Klimarechenzentrum, we are developing a high-resolution climate model called "ICON" (see NextGEMS). This is precisely what we need: a high-resolution, atmosphere-ocean coupled climate model.

With the output generated by ICON, I am directing my focus toward equatorial surface winds, striving to contribute to the understanding of atmosphere-ocean interaction.

Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Bjorn Stevens (MPI-M), Prof. Dr. Juan Pedro Mellado González (UHH)
Keywords: Atmospheric Physics, Momentum Analysis, Air-Sea Interaction, Surface Winds, Equatorial Cold Tongue

Ph.D. Earth System Sciences

Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie & Universität Hamburg

2021 - 2024

  • Dissertation: Boundary Layer Wind Balances and their Influence on Equatorial Sea-Surface Temperatures
    Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Bjorn Stevens (MPI-M), Prof. Dr. Juan Pedro Mellado González (UHH)
  • Emphases: air-sea interaction, surface winds, momentum analysis, equatorial cold water tongue, climate physics
M.Sc. Theoretical Physics

École Normale Supérieure de Paris and Technische Universität Berlin

2018 – 2020   

  • Master's thesis:  Phase Response Approaches to Neural Activity Models with Delay in the Group for Neural Theory, École Normale Supérieure, Paris
    Supervisors: Boris Gutkin (ENS Paris), Eckehard Schöll (TU Berlin)
  • Published: 
    Winkler, M., et al. (2021) „Phase response approaches to neural activity models with distributed delay". Biol Cybern (Biological Cybernetics), December.
  • Emphases: Neuroscience, Nonlinear dynamics and control, Colloidal systems: theory and simulation, Advanced quantum mechanics
B.Sc. Physics

Technische Universität Berlin

2014 – 2018   

  • Bachelor's thesis:  Synchronization of chimera states in multiplex networks of logistic maps in the Research Group for Nonlinear Dynamics and Control, Technische Universität Berlin.
    Supervisor: Eckehard Schöll (TU Berlin)
  • Published: 
    Winkler, M., et al. (2019). „Relay synchronization in multiplex networks of discrete maps". EPL (Europhysics Letters), Vol. 126, Nr. 5, July 2019, p. 50004. doi:10.1209/0295-5075/126/50004.
  • Emphases: Theoretical and experimental physics
  • 2016 - 2017: Erasmus scholarship for study abroad at the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon
Apprenticeship as Journeyman Bespoke Shoemaker

Schuhmacherei Hans-Joachim Vauk, Neumünster

2012 – 2014

  • Hohenegger, C., Winkler, M., et al. (2023). „ICON-Sapphire: simulating the components of the Earth system and their interactions at kilometer and subkilometer scales“. Geoscientific Model Development, 16 (2), 779-811. doi: 10.5194/gmd-16-779-2023
  • Winkler, M., et al. (2021). „Phase response approaches to neural activity models with distributed delay". Biol Cybern, Dezember 2021.
  • Winkler, M., et al. (2019). „Relay synchronization in multiplex networks of discrete maps“. EPL, Bd. 126, Nr. 5, July 2019, S. 50004. doi:10.1209/0295-5075/126/50004
  • From Sea Surface Temperature to Equatorial Surface Winds,
    CFMIP-GASS Conference, Paris, France, July 09 - 13, 2023
  • Phase Response Approaches to Neural Activity Models with Delay,
    Dynamics Days Digital, Berlin (virtual), Germany, August 24 - 27, 2020
  • Relaissynchronisation in Multiplex-Netzwerken unter Einfluss der logisitischen Gleichung,
    DPG-Frühjahrstagung, Regensburg, Germany, March 31 - April 05, 2019
  • Synchronization of Chimera States in Multiplex Networks of Logistic Maps,
    Bachelor-Symposium, Young German Physical Society, Berlin, Germany, November 21, 2018
  • Synchronization of Chimera States in Multiplex Networks of Logistic Maps,
    International Conference on Control of Self-Organizing Nonlinear Systems, Rostock, Germany, 09 - 13 September 2018
Hackathons and Workshops
  • Hackathon: NextGems C3, Madrid, Spain, May 29 - June 02, 2023
  • Hackathon: NextGems C2, Vienna, Austria, June 28 - July 03, 2022
  • Hackathon: NextGems C1, Berlin, Germany, October 19 - 22, 2021
  • Hackathon: DYAMOND, Hamburg, Germany, July 14 - July 16, 2021
  • Dynamics of Coupled Oscillator Systems Workshop, Weierstrass Institute for Applied Analysis and Stochastics, Berlin, Germany, November 19-21, 2018