Welcome! My little group tries to make a contribution to understand the physics of the large-scale ocean circulation and
the role of the ocean in the climate system through fundamental studies using concepts and methods from dynamical systems theory

Professor of Dynamical Oceanography

Utrecht University

CV (01-01-2014)

Contact information

Prof. dr. ir. Henk A. Dijkstra
Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Utrecht University
Princetonplein 5, 3584 CC Utrecht,
The Netherlands
Phone: +31-30-2535441
Fax: +31-30-2543163
email: H.A.Dijkstra@uu.nl

Honors and Awards

1996: Dutch Science Foundation PIONEER award

2002: Member Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences

2005: Lewis Fry Richardson Medal (EGU)

2009: Fellow Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM)


Recent and Near Future Activities

Keynote speaker, Conference on Theoretical advances in planetary flows and climate dynamics, Les Houches, France, March 2 -6, 2015

Keynote speaker, Midwest Mathematics and Climate Conference. Lawrence, Kansas, USA, April 30- May 3, 2015.

Principle Lecturer, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute Summer School on Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Woods Hole, USA, June 15-August 26, 2015.


Current Projects

LINC (Learning about Interacting Networks in Climate, FP7-ITN)

eSALSA (An eScience Approach to determine future Local Sea-level chAnges, NLeSC).

PreKurs (Predictability of Kuroshio Path Transitions, NWO-Complexity)

COLOURMIX (Using satellite ocean colour observations to determine upper-ocean vertical mixing, NWO-NSO).

SCENES (Stability of Caribbean coastal Ecosystems uNder future Extreme Sea level changes, NWO-Caribbean).



Papers (2013)

1. T. Sapsis and H. A. Dijkstra. Interaction of additive noise and nonlinear dynamics in the double-gyre wind-driven ocean circulation., J. Phys. Oceanography, 43, 366-381, (2013).
2. H. A. Dijkstra, T. Sengul, and S. Wang. Dynamic Transitions of Surface Tension Driven Convection, Physica D Nonlinear Phenomena, 247, 7-17, (2013)
3. W. Kramer and H. A. Dijkstra .Optimal localized observations for advancing beyond the ENSO predictability barrier, Nonl. Processes Geophysics, 20, 221-230, (2013).
4. R. Lohmann, E. Jurado, H. A. Dijkstra and J. Dachs, Vertical eddy diffusion as a key mechanism for removing perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) from the global surface oceans, Environmental Pollution, 179, 88-94 (2013).
5. A. McHogg, H. A. Dijkstra and J. Saenz, The Energetics of a Collapsing Meridional Overturning Circulation, J. Phys. Oceanography, 43, 1512-1524 (2013).
6. Z. Ziqing, M Mu and H. A. Dijkstra, Optimal nonlinear excitation of decadal variability of the North Atlantic thermohaline circulation, Chin. J. Ocean. Limn., 31 No. 6, 1356-1362, (2013).
7.  Wang. Q., Mu Mu and H. A. Dijkstra, Optimal Precursors of the formation of Kuroshio Large Meander, J. Geophysical Research Oceans, 118, 869–884, doi:10.1002/jgrc.20084, (2013).
8. Van der Mheen, M. H. A. Dijkstra, A. Gozolchiani, Den Toom, M., Feng, Q., Kurths, J. and Hernandez-Garcia, E., Interaction network based early warning indicators for the Atlantic MOC collapse, Geophysical Research Letters, 40, 2714–2719, doi:10.1002/grl.50515, (2013).
9. Z. Ziqing, M Mu and H. A. Dijkstra. Three-dimensional structure of optimal nonlinear excitation for decadal variability of the thermohaline circulation, Atmospheric and Oceanic Science Letters, 6, 410-416, (2013).
10. D. Le Bars, H. A. Dijkstra, and W. P. M. De Ruijter, Impact of the Indonesian Throughflow on Agulhas Leakage, Ocean Science, 9, 773-785, (2013).
11. A. Von der Heydt and H. A. Dijkstra, El Nino: processes, dynamics and predictability, Nieuw Archief voor Wiskunde, 14, 195-200s, (2013).
12. S. S. Drijfhout, D. Marshall and H. A. Dijkstra, Conceptual models of the wind-driven and thermohaline circulation, Chapter 11 in Ocean Circulation and Climate, Academic Press, (2013).
13. Andrea Toreti, Philippe Naveau, Matteo Zampieri, Anne Schindler, Enrico Scoccimarre, Jurg Lutebacher, H. A. Dijkstra, Silvio Gualdi and Elena Xoplaki, Global changes in seasonal precipitation extremes, Geophys. Res. Letters, 40, 4887–4892, doi:10.1002/grl.50940, (2013).
14. Wilbert Weijer, Volodymyr Zharkov, Doron Nof, H. A. Dijkstra , Wilhelmus P. M. de Ruijter, Arjen Terwisscha van Scheltinga , Fred Wubs. Agulhas ring formation as a barotropic instability of the retroflection, Geophys. Res. Letters, 40, 5435–5438, doi:10.1002/2013GL057751, (2013).
15. Sybren Drijfhout Emily Gleeson, H. A. Dijkstra, and Valerie Livina, A spontaneous, abrupt climate change event in the EC-Earth climate model, PNAS, November 18, 2013, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1304912110, (2013).
16.  Wang. Q., Mu Mu and H. A. Dijkstra, Effects of nonlinear physical processes on optimal error growth in predictability experiments of the Kuroshio Large MeanderJ. Geophysical Research Oceans, DOI: 10.1002/2013JC009276, (2013).

Papers (2014)

1.  Tantet, A. and H. A. Dijkstra, An interaction network perspective on the relation between patterns of sea surface temperature variability and global mean surface temperature. Earth System Dynamics, 4, 1-14 (2014).
2. H. A. Dijkstra, Will the Atlantic Ocean Circulation collapse before the end of this century, in Handbook of Global Environmental Change, ed. B. Freedman, Springer,  85-95, (2014).
3. H. A. Dijkstra, Fred W. Wubs, Andrew K. Cliffe, Eusebius Doedel, Ioana F. Dragomirescu, Bruno Eckhardt, Alexander Yu. Gelfgat, Andrew L. Hazel, Valerio Lucarini, Andy G. Salinger, Erik. T. Phipps, Juan Sanchez-Umbria, Henk Schuttelaars, Laurette S. Tuckerman, Uwe Thiele. Numerical Bifurcation Methods and their Application to Fluid Dynamics: Analysis beyond Simulation, Communications in Computational Physics, 15, 1-45, (2014).
4. A. Cimatoribus, S.S. Drijfhout and H. A. Dijkstra. Meridional overturning circulation: stability and ocean feedbacks in a box model, Climate Dynamics, 42:311–328 (2014).
5. Q. Feng and H. A. Dijkstra, Are North Atlantic Multidecadal SST Anomalies Westward Propagating? Geophys. Res. Letters, 41, doi:10.1002/2013GL058687(2014).
6. J. Viebahn and H. A. Dijkstra, Critical transition analysis of the deterministic wind-driven ocean circulation, A flux-based network approach, Int. J. Bifurcation Chaos, 24, 1430007-1 1430007-32, (2014).
7. Matthijs den Toom, H. A. Dijkstra, Wilbert Weijer, Matthew Hecht, Mat Maltrud, and Erik van Sebille. Response of a Strongly Eddying Global Ocean to North Atlantic Freshwater Perturbations, J. Phys. Oceanography, 44, 464-481, (2014).
8. B. van Werkhoven, J. Maassen, M. Kliphuis, H. A. Dijkstra, S.E. Brunnabend, M. van Meersbergen, F. J. Seinstra, and H. E. Bal, A distributed computing approach to improve the performance of the Parallel Ocean Program (v2.1), Geoscientific Model Development, 7, 267-281, (2014).
9. G. Sgubin, S. Pierini and H. A. Dijkstra, Intrinsic variability of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current System: low- and high-frequency fluctuations of the Argentine Basin flow, Ocean Science, 10, 201-213, (2014).
10. Rugenstein, M., Stocchi, P. , A.S. von der Heydt, H. A. Dijkstra and H. B. Brinkhuis, Emplacement of Antarctic ice sheet mass affects circumpolar ocean flow, Global Planetary Changes, 118, 16-24, (2014).
11. Sijp, W. P., A. S. von der Heydt, H. A. Dijkstra, S. Flogel, P. Douglas, P. K. Bijl.The role of ocean gateways on cooling climate on long time scales, Global Planetary Changes, 119, 1–22, (2014).
12. Yin, Z., S.C. Dekker, B.J.J.M. van den Hurk and, H. A. Dijkstra. Effects of vegetation structure on biomass accumulation in a Balanced Optimality Structure Vegetation Model (BOSVM v1.0), Geoscientific Model Development, 7, 821–845, (2014).
13. Yin, Z., S.C. Dekker, B.J.J.M. van den Hurk and, H. A. Dijkstra. Bimodality of woody cover and biomass in semi-arid regime, Earth System Dynamics, 5, 257–270, (2014).
14. G. Tirabassi, J. Viebahn, V. Dakos, H. A. Dijkstra, C. Masoller, M. Rietkerk, and S.C. Dekker. Interaction network based early-warning indicators of
vegetation transitions, Ecological Complexity, 19, 148 - 157 , (2014).
15. H. A. Dijkstra, J. Saenz and A. Hogg, Energetics of Multidecadal Atlantic Ocean Variability, J. Climate, 27, 7874-7889, (2014).
16. Q. Feng, J. Viebahn and H. A. Dijkstra, Deep Ocean Early Warning Signals of an Atlantic MOC Collapse, Geophysical Res. Letters, 41, 6009-6015, (2014).
17. Le Bars, D., J.V. Durgadoo, H. A. Dijkstra, A. Biastoch and W.P.M. de Ruijter. An observed 20 years time-series of Agulhas leakage, Ocean Science, 10, 601–609, (2014).
18. Von der Heydt, A.S.,Kohler, P. Van de Wal, R.S.W. and H. A. Dijkstra. On the state dependency of fast feedback processes in (palaeo) climate sensitivity, Geophysical Res. Letters, 41, 6484–6492, (2014).
19. Pierini, S. H. A. Dijkstra and Mu Mu, Intrinsic low-frequency variability and predictability of the Kuroshio current and of its extension, Advances in Oceanography and Limnology, 5, No. 2, 79-122.
20. H. A. Dijkstra and J. Viebahn. Sensitivity and Resilience of the Climate System: a Conditional Nonlinear Optimization Approach,Communications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulation, 22, 13-22, (2015).
21. S.E. Brunnabend, H. A. Dijkstra, B. van Werkhoven, J. Maassen, M. Kliphuis, M. van Meersbergen, F. J. Seinstra, and H. E. Bal, Changes in extreme regional sea surface height due to an abrupt weakening of the Atlantic MOC. Ocean Science, 10, 881–891, (2014).
22. W.K. Lenstra, L. Hahn-Woernle, E. Matta, M. Bresciani, C. Giardino, N. Salmaso, M. Musanti, G. Fila, R. Uittenbogaard, M. Genseberger, H.J. van der Woerd, and H. A. Dijkstra, Diurnal variation of turbulence-related quantities in Lake Garda. Advances in Oceanography and Limnology, Vol. 5, No. 2, 184-203, (2014).
23. L. Hahn-Woernle, H.J. van der Woerd, and H. A. Dijkstra, Sensitivity of phytoplankton distributions to vertical mixing along a North Atlantic transect. Ocean Science, 10, 993-1011, (2014).
Papers (2015)
1.  Tantet, A., F. van der Burgt, and H. A. Dijkstra, An early warning indicator for atmospheric blocking event using transfer operators, Chaos, in press (2015.

Group Members

Dewi Le Bars

Inti Pelupessi

Jan Viebahn

Sandra Brunnabend

Alexis Tantet

Qingyi Feng

Claudia Wieners

Lisa Hahn-Woernle

Erik Mulder

Michiel Baatsen

Fiona van der Burgt

Vacancy, PhD

MSc. students (2015):  Ioanna Kalliantasi, Marco Stoffelen, Mariet Hebbink, Andre Juling, Henri van der Poel




Publications 2012

1. Pisarev, G.I. , Gjerde, V., Balakin, B. V. , Hoffmann, A.C., H. A. Dijkstra, Peng, W. E xperimental and Computational Study of the ''End of the Vortex'' Phenomenon in Reverse-Flow Centrifugal Separators, AIChE Journal, 58, 1371-1380, (2012).
2. Wang. Q., Mu Mu and H. A. Dijkstra, Application of conditional nonlinear optimal perturbation method to the predictability study of the Kuroshio large meander, Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, 29, 118–134, (2012).
3. Kramer, W. , H. A. Dijkstra, S. Pierini and P. J. van Leeuwen. Measuring the impact of observations on the predictability of the Kuroshio Extension in a shallow-water model, J. Phys. Oceanography, 42, 3-17, (2012).
4. Cimatoribus, A., S. S. Drijfhout and H. A. Dijkstra, A global hybrid coupled model based on atmosphere-SST feedbacks, Climate Dynamics, 38, 745-760, (2012).
5. M. den Toom, H. A. Dijkstra, Cimatoribus, A., S. S. Drijfhout, Effect of Atmospheric Feedbacks on the Stability of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, J. Climate,25, 4081 - 4096, (2012).
6. F. Bleichrodt, R. Bisseing and H. A. Dijkstra, Accelerating a barotropic ocean model using a GPU. Ocean Modeling , 41, 16–21, (2012).
7. E. Jurado, H. van der Woerd and H. A. Dijkstra, Microstructure measurements along a quasi-meridional transect in the North Atlantic, J. Geophysical Res. Oceans, 117, C04016, doi:10.1029/2011JC007137, (2012).
8. G. Quatrocchi, S. Pierini and H. A. Dijkstra, Intrinsic low-frequency variability of the Gulf Stream, Nonl. Processes in Geophysics, 19, 155–164, (2012).
9. Le Bars, D., W.P.M. de Ruijter and H. A. Dijkstra, A new regime of the Agulhas Current retroflection: turbulent choking of Indian-Atlantic leakage, J. Phys. Oceanography, 42, 1158-1172, (2012)
10. Chylek, P., C. K. Folland, L.M. Frankcombe, H. A. Dijkstra , G. Lesins and M.K. Dubey. Greenland ice core evidence for spatial and temporal variability of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. Geophysical Research Letters, 39, L09705, doi:10.1029/2012GL051241, (2012).
11. Weijer, W., Maltrud, M., Hecht, M., H. A. Dijkstra and M. Kliphuis. Response of the Atlantic Ocean Circulation to Greenland Ice Sheet Melting in a Strongly-Eddying Ocean Model. Geophysical Research Letters, 39, L09606, doi:10.1029/2012GL051611, (2012).
12. Huisman, S., Dijkstra, H. A., and Von der Heydt, A. and W.P.M. de Ruijter. Does net E-P set a preference for North Atlantic sinking? J. Phys. Oceanography, 42, 1781–1792, (2012).

13. Katzav, J., Dijkstra, H. A., and J. de Laat. Assessing climate model projections: state of the art and philosophical reflection. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 43, 258-276, (2012).

14. Rohling, E., Sluijs, A., Dijkstra, H. A, Koehler, P., Van de Wal, R.S.W., Von der Heydt, A.S and PALAEOSENS project members. Making sense of palaeoclimate sensitivity. Nature, 491, 683-691, (2012).

15. E. Jurado, H. A. Dijkstra and H. van der Woerd, Microstructure observations during the spring 2011 STRATIPHYT-II cruise in the northeast Atlantic, Ocean Science, 8, 945-95, (2012).
16. Cimatoribus, A., S. S. Drijfhout, M . den Toom and H. A. Dijkstra, Sensitivity of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation to South Atlantic freshwater anomalie, Clim. Dynamics, 39, 2291-2306, (2012).

total publication list 1995-2011


Past (2009-2013) Division President Nonlinear Processes in the Geosciences, EGU (NP division website).

Editorial Boards

Editor (2007-): Physica D

Editor (2010-): Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans

Editor (2014- ): Earth System Dynamics

Past Editor (2005-2009): Reviews of Geophysics

Past Editor (2005-2010): Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics


Chair (2006 - ): Scientific Committee National Supercomputing Facilities Foundation

eScience Integrator, Netherlands eScience Center (2012-)

Member of the Scientific advisory board of the Mathematics and Climate Research network

Past Member (research director) of the Board of the Department of Physics and Astronomy (2009 - 2011)

Past Chair: Earth Sciences Section, (2009 - 2011 ), Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences

Past Member of the Program Advisory Group of the UK-RAPID program (2007- 2014)




1. Nonlinear Physical Oceanography

2e edition appeared April, 2005

Book website

Russian translation has appeared 1/3/2008

2. Dynamical Oceanography

1e edition (hardcover) for ~ E 84

Book website


3. Nonlinear Climate Dynamics

1e edition appeared
June 15, 2013

Book website