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Numerical Methods in Atmospheric Sciences and Oceanography

In this course you will build a numerical shallow water equation model. By doing so you will learn the basic numerical methods that are common for Numerical Weather Prediction Models, Ocean Circulation models and Climate Models.

We start with a very simple model of the advection equation, which we use to study the shortcomings of the numerical methods, such as numerical instability, truncation errors, computational modes, computation phase speeds and groups velocities. We then continue with the shallow water equations, where you develop your own shallow water model. Finally, an introduction to 3D modelling will be given. You will acquire, in this course, a fundamental understanding of the very core of the numerics of the circulation models, which are used in both weather forecast models as well as Climate models. The course is in other words a must if you want to call yourself a meteorologist, oceanographer or a climate physicist.

  • Course structure

    The course deals with numerical methods for solving the hydrodynamic equations, which are common for Numerical Weather Prediction Models, Ocean Circulation models and Climate Models.

    The course includes:
    • finite differences in time and space of the hydrodynamic equations
    • analysis of finite differential methods limitations
    • semi-implicit and semi-Lagrangian schemes
    • iterative methods for solving Laplace and Poisson equations
    • alternating grid for shallow water equations in two dimensions
    • nonlinear advection terms
    • spectral coordinates for global atmospheric circulation models

    Teaching format

    The teaching consists of
    • Lectures
    • Calculation exercises
    • Computer exercises

    Course material

    Grading criteria, course literature and other material and correspondence related to the course will be available on the course Athena-site at once you have registered for the course.


    Written exam at the end of the course as well as a series of computer exercises, which are written as reports.


    Here is a link to a list of examiners for 2020:

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.

    You can search for schedules from previous years in TimeEdit, by entering the course code.

    Link to TimeEdit

  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    Basic Numerical Methods in Meteorology and Oceanography. Döös et al. 2020.

  • More information

    Upcoming courses

    The course is held every autumn semester.

  • Contact

    Student counselor

    Phone: +46 8 16 24 18