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Ocean Modelling and Climate

The work of the Ocean Modelling and Climate group aims at describing past, present and future states of the ocean using a wide range of numerical models. We also investigate how the ocean interacts with other parts of the earth system, e.g., ice sheets and biogeochemical cycles.

On a global level our research investigates how global ocean tides have changed over past geological eras and the potential impact of these changes on climate. This work has included studies of how collapsing ice sheets, both during the last 140,000 years and in the future, can impact global ocean circulation and climate (e.g. Green et al., 2011; Wilmes and Green, 2014; Green and Schmittner, 2015; Schmittner et al. 2015). This work includes studies of the tides and mixing, due to tidal dissipation, which contributes to the maintenance of the meridional overturning circulation and influences the evolution of the Earth-moon system, and the Earth's ability to host life (Green et al., 2009; Green, 2010; Green and Huber, 2013; Green et al., 2017; 2018; Wilmes et al., 2017).

Our work also aims to identify the key role of the tides in the evolution of the evolution of land-walking vertebrates some 400,000 years ago as reported in both Science ( and Nature (

On a regional scale we have simulated changes in wave and tidal dynamics of our shelf seas (Neill et al., 2009; Neill et al., 2010) and the impact of rising sea level, and the changing tides, on the strength of the shelf sea CO2 pump (Rippeth et al., 2008) since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). We have also studied the controls on larval dispersal and connectivity in a highly energetic shelf sea (Lee et al., 2013; Robins et al, 2013).

We have examined the uncertainties within future climate and sea-level projections to provide flood risk estimates for coastal communities (Quinn et al., 2014), for example for tropical cyclone storm surge inundation in the Bay of Bengal (Lewis et al., 2014). Furthermore, we have used novel approaches to develop methodologies for quantifying future flood hazard uncertainties arising from temporal and spatial scales not currently resolved within ocean and climate models (Lewis et al., 2013; Hashemi et al., 2015).

Associated publications

Green, C. L., Green, J. A. M., and Bigg, G. R, (2011) Simulating the impact of freshwater surges and deep-draft icebergs from the MIS 6 Barents Ice Sheet Collapse. Paleoceanography, 26, PA2211, doi:10.1029/2010PA002088. Selected for AGU Research Spotlight.

Green, J. A. M. and Bigg, G. R., 2011 Impacts on the global ocean circulation from vertical mixing and a collapsing Ice Sheet. Journal of Marine Research, 69, 221-244.

Green, J. A. M. and Huber, M. 2013 Tidal dissipation in the early Eocene and implications for ocean mixing. Geophysical Research Letters, 40, doi:10.1002/grl.50510.

Green, J.A.M. (2010) Ocean tides and resonance. Ocean Dynamics 60, 1243-1253. doi: 10.1007/s10236-010-0331-1

Green, J.A.M., Green, C.L., Bigg, G.R., Rippeth, T.P., Scourse, J.D. and Uehara, K. 2009. Tidal mixing and the strength of the Meridional Overturning Circulation from the Last Glacial Maximum. Geophysical Research Letters 36, L15603

J. A. M. Green and A. Schmittner, 2015: Climatic consequences of a Pine Island Glacier collapse. Journal of Climate, 28, 9221–9234.

J. A. M. Green et al., 2017: Explicitly modeled deep-time tidal dissipation and its implication for Lunar history. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 461, 46–53

J. A. M. Green et al.: Is there a tectonically driven super-tidal cycle? Accepted subject to revision by Geophysical Research Letter, January 2018

Hashemi, MR, Spaulding, ML, Shaw, A, Farhadi, H & Lewis, M 2016, An efficient artificial intelligence model for prediction of tropical storm surge. Natural Hazards, vol 82, pp. 471-491.

Lee, P.L.M., Dawson, M.N., Neill, S.P., Robins, P.E., Houghton, J.D.R., Doyle, T.K. and Hays, G.C. (2013) Identification of genetically and oceanographically distinct blooms of jellyfish. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 10: 20120920.

Lewis M, Schumann G, Bates P and Horsburgh K. 2013. Understanding the variability of an extreme storm tide along a coastline. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science , 123, 19-25. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecss.2013.02.009

Lewis, M, Bates, P, Horsburgh, K, Neal, J, Schumann, G. 2012. A storm surge inundation model of the Northern Bay of Bengal using publically available data. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 139(671), 358-369. doi: 10.1002/qj.2040

Lewis, M, Horsburgh, K, Bates, P, Smith, R. 2011. Quantifying the uncertainty in future coastal flood risk estimates for the UK. Journal of Coastal Research, 27 (5). 870-881

Lewis, M., Horsburgh, K. and Bates, P. (2014). Bay of Bengal cyclone extreme water-level estimate uncertainty. Natural Hazards 72(2), 983-996. DOI 10.1007/s11069-014-1046-2

Neill, S.P., Scourse, J.D. and Uehara, K. (2010) Evolution of bed shear stress distribution over the northwest European shelf seas during the last 12,000 years. Ocean Dynamics 60, 1139-1156.

Neill, S.P., Scourse, J.D., Bigg, G.R. and Uehara, K. (2009) Changes in wave climate over the northwest European shelf seas during the last 12,000 years. Journal of Geophysical Research 114, C06015.

Quinn, N, Lewis, M, Wadey, MP & Haigh, ID 2014, 'Assessing the temporal variability in extreme storm-tide time series for coastal flood risk assessment' Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 119, pp. 4983-4998.

Rippeth, T. P., J. D. Scourse, K. Uehara, and S. McKeown (2008) The impact of sea-level rise over the last deglacial transition on the strength of the continental shelf CO2 pump. Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L24604, doi:10.1029/2008GL035880. (AGU Highlighted paper).

Robins, P.E., Neill, S.P., Giménez, L., Jenkins, S.R. and Malham, S.K. (2013) Physical and biological controls on larval dispersal and connectivity in a highly energetic shelf sea. Limnology and Oceanography, 58, 505-524

A. Schmittner, J. A. M. Green, and S-B. Wilmes, 2015: Large acceleration of the ocean’s meridional overturning circulation during the Last Glacial Maximum due to enhanced tidal mixing. Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1002/2015GL063561.

Wilmes. S. B. and Green, J. A. M. 2014 The evolution of tides and tidal dissipation over the past 21,000 years, Journal of Geophysical Research, 119(7), 4083-4100. DOI: 10.1002/2013JC009605

Wilmes, S.B, JAM Green, N Gomez, TP Rippeth and H Lau (2017). Global Impacts of Large-Scale Ice Sheet Collapses. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, doi: 10.1002.2017JC013109