Reaching out across the Web .. ...分享 Zuojun Yu, physical oceanographer, freelance English editor


Quick comments on (modern) physical oceanography

已有 3046 次阅读 2010-11-10 15:47 |个人分类:My Research Interests|系统分类:科普集锦| oceanography

       I wrote Introducing Physical Oceanography for a young woman, who is trying to get into a graduate school. I also gave a presentation at a college in Hangzhou, entitled "Your future is in your hands." The audience was seniors in Physics and Math. I talked about PO (physical oceanography) and Met (meteorology), since some well-known scientists in these fields majored in Math and Physics.
Now, an undergraduate student approached me: “海洋学的研究与实际数据密不可分,而自己现在常常会有这样的疑惑:当今海洋学,究竟最大难点在于技术还是理论上呢?”
I would say “both,” but one can still contribute (as well as make a living).
Earlier this year, I went to the Ocean Sciences Meeting in Portland, Oregon. OS Meeting is a meeting that one should always attend, if he wants to know what is going on in oceanography.
I am a numerical modeler, so I am interested in both model and data (I mean real data, not model output): the latest development in numerical schemes and parameterizations, the latest observations, etc. Since I have been working on meso-scale eddies and ecosystem modeling, I went to a few sessions on the interaction of physical and biological processes, including high-resolution observations and high-resolution modeling.
The meeting program can be found at
The PO sessions are at
I have to say that there were lots of interesting talks. People now go measure biological variables and then use these observations to validate model physics as well as model biology. At one end, they go after filaments. (At the other end, they go for global circulation and paleo-records.) If I were to start all over again, I would go for observations because you can always write a paper with your new data. (In contrast, most numerical modelers have to reproduce observations first and to understand the dynamics next before she can write a paper. It may take years!)
If one wants to runs models, then the computing facility of his work place is very important. I was never happy for long with the computers I had access to, considering that I was one of the top users on the supercomputer at GSFC/NASA in the early 1990s. (How did I know that? Because I had to submit a brief report from time to time on why I "wasted" lots of CPU time.)

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