The Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory is engaged in comprehensive long lead-time research fundamental to NOAA's mission.
The goal of this research is to expand the scientific understanding of the physical processes that govern the behavior of the atmosphere and the oceans as complex fluid systems. These systems can then be modeled mathematically and their phenomenology can be studied by computer simulation methods.
In particular, GFDL research concerns the following:
- the predictability of weather on large and small scales
- the structure, variability, predictability, stability and sensitivity of global and regional climate
- the structure, variability and dynamics of the ocean over its many space and time scales
- the interaction of the atmosphere and oceans, and how the atmosphere and oceans influence and are influenced by various trace constituents
- the Earth's atmospheric general circulation within the context of the family of planetary atmospheric circulations
The scientific work of the Laboratory encompasses a variety of disciplines including meteorology, oceanography, hydrology, classical physics, fluid dynamics, chemistry, applied mathematics, and numerical analysis. Research is also facilitated by the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Program (AOSP), which is a collaborative program at GFDL with Princeton University. Under this program, regular Princeton faculty, research scientists, and graduate students participate in theoretical studies, both analytical and numerical, and in observational experiments in the laboratory and in the field. The program is supported in part by NOAA funds. AOSP scientists may also be involved in GFDL research through institutional or international agreements.