MIT EAPS Directory

Carl Wunsch

Professor Emeritus of Physical Oceanography

Carl Wunsch is the Cecil and Ida Green Professor Emeritus of Physical Oceanography at MIT. His degrees are from MIT (mathematics and geophysics) and he has spent his professional career there. He has had two year long sabbaticals at Cambridge (Dept. of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics) and others at University College London, the Oceanography Centre in Southampton, GRGS-Toulouse, Harvard University, and was George Eastman Visiting Professor and Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford. Wunsch has worked on many aspects of physical oceanography and its climate implications, with emphasis on observations of all types, including the global-scale, using satellites and acoustic tomographic, and various conventional observation methods.

Early in his career, he spent many months working at sea. He was an organizer of the World Ocean Circulation Experiment, chaired the science committees leading to the flight of altimetric satellites, and  is deeply involved in the analysis of the oceanic general circulation and its climate influences including aspects such as sea level change, and the interpretation of the paleoceanographic record. His interests exploit mathematical methods such as inverse theory and state estimation for understanding of the ocean circulation and climate.

He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Foreign Member of the Royal Society of London, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Philosophical Society, American Geophysical Union and American Meteorological Society and has received a number of awards including the Bowie Medal of the American Geophysical Union, 2006 and the 2015 Walter Munk Medal.

Prof. Wunsch is the author or co-author of about 250 scientific papers and the author of several books including, Ocean Acoustic Tomography (with W. Munk and P. Worcester); The Ocean Circulation Inverse Problem; and Discrete Inverse and State Estimation Problems, all with Cambridge and  Modern Observational Physical Oceanography (2015, with Princeton U. Press).

Wikipedia

Publications

Wunsch (2016), Last Glacial Maximum and Deglacial Abyssal Seawater Oxygen Isotopic Ratios, under review for Clim. Past Discuss., doi: 10.5194/cp-2015-193

Liang, X. F. and Wunsch, C. (2015) Note on the redistribution and dissipation of tidal energy over mid-ocean ridges Tellus Series a-Dynamic Meteorology and Oceanography, vol. 67, doi: 10.3402/tellusa.v67.27385

Liang, X. F. and Wunsch, C. and Heimbach, P. and Forget, G. (2015) Vertical Redistribution of Oceanic Heat Content Journal of Climate, vol. 28, no. 9, pp. 3821-3833, doi: 10.1175/jcli-d-14-00550.1

Chen, R. and Flierl, G. R. and Wunsch, C. (2015) Quantifying and Interpreting Striations in a Subtropical Gyre: A Spectral Perspective Journal of Physical Oceanography, vol. 45, no. 2, pp. 387-406, doi: 10.1175/jpo-d-14-0038.1

Forget, G. and Campin, J. M. and Heimbach, P. and Hill, C. N. and Ponte, R. M. and Wunsch, C. (2015) ECCO version 4: an integrated framework for non-linear inverse modeling and global ocean state estimation Geoscientific Model Development, vol. 8, no. 10, pp. 3071-3104, doi: 10.5194/gmd-8-3071-2015

Google Scholar Profile