Allan J. Clarke

Clarke Photo The Adrian E. Gill Professor of Oceanography

Physical Oceanography
Ph.D., Cambridge University, 1976

My research is focused on understanding and predicting El Nino and the Southern Oscillation (the major short-term climate signal on earth), on decadal and longer climate changes and on flow and sealevel on continental shelves. All projects involve using data analysis, dynamics and models to understand how the ocean and the coupled tropical ocean-atmosphere system work. Current research projects are funded by the National Science Foundation.

One of the privileges of working at a University is the opportunity to meet and work with students, and I look forward to continuing to do this in present and future research projects. My students are encouraged to obtain a sound background from course work and also to be involved in research at an early stage.


Clarke Book Cover Photo

My new book, "An Introduction to the Dynamics of El Nino & the Southern Oscillation," is now available from Elsevier.

Many scientists either working on the El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) problem or its many applications have not been trained in both the equatorial ocean and atmospheric dynamics necessary to understand it. This book seeks to overcome this difficulty by providing a step by step introduction to ENSO, helping the upper level graduate student or research scientist to learn quickly the ENSO basics and be up to date with the latest ENSO research. The text assumes that the reader has a knowledge of the equations of fluid mechanics on a rotating earth and emphasizes the observations and simple physical explanations of them.

Following a history of ENSO and a discussion of ENSO observations in Chapters 1 and 2, Chapters 3-5 consider relevant equatorial ocean dynamics, Chapters 6 and 9 relevant atmospheric dynamics, and Chapters 7 and 8 the main paradigms for how the Pacific Ocean and atmosphere couple together to produce ENSO. Chapter 8 also discusses the old mystery of why ENSO tends to be locked in phase with the seasonal cycle. Successful dynamical and statistical approaches to ENSO prediction are discussed in Chapters 10 and 11 while Chapter 12 concludes the book with examples of how ENSO influences marine and bird life.


A. J. Clarke and Associates consultants for: