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 (01-01-2015)

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

1/8/2015: Mary Shepard B. Upson Visiting Professor position at the College of Engineering, at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York (2015-2018). First visit: October 2015, Second visit: May 2016.

1/7/2015: Head of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Utrecht University (2015-2018).

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 (2015-2016)

1.  Tantet, A., F. van der Burgt, and H. A. Dijkstra, An early warning indicator for atmospheric blocking event using transfer operators, Chaos, 25, 036406, doi: 10.1063/1.4908174 (2015).
2. H. Ihshaish, A. Tantet, J. C. M. Dijkzeul, and H. A. Dijkstra,, Par@Graph – a parallel toolbox for the construction and analysis of large complex climate networks, Geoscientific Model Development, 8, 3321–3331, (2015).
3. H. A. Dijkstra, T. Sengul, J. Shen, S. Wang. Dynamic Transitions of Quasi-Geostrophic Channel Flow, SIAM J. Applied Mathematics, 75, 2361–2378, (2015).
4. K. D. A. Mojica, W. H. van de Poll, M. Kehoe, J. Huisman, K. R. Timmermans, A. G. J. Buma3, H. J. van der Woerd, L. Hahn-Woernle, H. A. Dijkstra and C. P. D. Brussaard. Phytoplankton community structure in relation to vertical stratification along a north-south gradient in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean, Limnology and Oceanography, 60, 1498–1521, (2015).
5. H. A. Dijkstra. Book review on Mathematics and Climate (Kaper and Engler), THE MATHEMATICAL INTELLIGENCER, 37:101-102, (2015).
6. H. A. Dijkstra. A normal mode perspective of intrinsic ocean-climate variability, Annual Reviews of Fluid Mechanics, in press (2016).
7. 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).
8. Z. Yin, S. C. Dekker, B. J. J. M. van den Hurk, H. A. Dijkstra. The climatic imprint of bimodal distributions in vegetation cover for West Africa, Biogeosciences Discussions, 12, 18213–18251, (2015).
9. Jonathan F. Donges, Jobst Heitzig, Boyan Beronov, Marc Wiedermann, Jakob Runge, Qing Yi Feng, Liubov Tupikina, Veronika Stolbova, Reik V. Donner, Norbert Marwan, H. A. Dijkstra, and Jürgen Kurths, Unified functional network and nonlinear time series analysis for complex systems science: The pyunicorn package, Chaos 25, 113101 (2015); doi: 10.1063/1.4934554.
10. H. A. Dijkstra. Understanding Climate Variability using Dynamical Systems Theory, in The Fluid Dynamics of Climate, ed. A. Provenzale, E. Palazzi and K. Fraedrich, CISM, 564, 1-38 (2016).
11. H. A. Dijkstra. Response of the Atlantic Ocean Circulation to North Atlantic freshwater perturbations, in Dynamics and Predictability of Large-Scale, High-Impact Weather and Climate Events, ed. J. Li, R. Swinbank, R. Grotjahn, and H. Volkert, Cambridge University Press, 239-254, (2015).
12. C.E. Wieners, W.P.M. de Ruijter, W. Ridderinkhof, A.S. von der Heydt, and H. A. Dijkstra. Coherent tropical Indo-Pacific interannual climate variability: Indo-Pacific ENSO modes. J. Climate, in press (2016).
13. Z. Zu, Mu Mu, H. A. Dijkstra, Optimal initial excitations of decadal modification of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation under the prescribed heat and freshwater flux boundary conditions, J. Phys. Oceanography, in press (2016).
14. Z. Yin, S.C. Dekker, M. Rietkerk, B.J.J.M. van den Hurk, and H. A. Dijkstra, Network based early warning indicators of vegetation changes in a land-atmosphere model, Ecological Complexity, 26, 68–78 (2016).
15. D. le Bars, J. Viebahn and H. A. Dijkstra, A Southern Ocean Mode of Multidecadal Variability, Geophysical Research Letters, in press (2016).
16. J. Viebahn, D. le Bars, A. vonder Heydt, and H. A. Dijkstra, Effects of Drake Passage on a strongly eddying global ocean, Paleoceanography, in press (2016).
17. J. Maassen, B. van Werkhoven, M. van Meersbergen, H. E. Bal, M. Kliphuis, S. E. Brunnabend, H. A. Dijkstra, G. van Malenstein, M. de Vos, S. Kuijpers, S. Boele, J. Wolfrat, N. Hill, D. Wallom, C. Grimm, D. Kranzlmuller, M. Santcroos, S. Jha, Y. El Khamra, F. O. Bryan, B. Kirtman, F. J. Seinstra, On the Complexities of Utilizing Large-Scale Lightpath-Connected Distributed Cyberinfrastructure, Concurrency Computations: Pract. Exper., in press (2016). 

Group Members

Inti Pelupessi

Jan Viebahn

Alexis Tantet

Qingyi Feng

Claudia Wieners

Lisa Hahn-Woernle

Erik Mulder

Michiel Baatsen

Fiona van der Burgt

Daniele Castellane

MSc. students (2015):  Ioanna Kalliantasi, Marco Stoffelen, Mariet Hebbink, Andre Juling, Henri van de Poel, Aleid Oosterwijk, Brenda van Zalinge, Rene van Westen




Publications 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. 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).
21. 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).
22. 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).

total publication list 1995-2013


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 (2012-2015)

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