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 (01-01-2016)

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

November 2017. Fifth visit Ithaca (NY) as Mary Shepard B. Upson Visiting Professor at the College of Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York (2015-2018).

2017-2018: Visiting Professor at DICAM, University of Trento, Italy

2/2/2017: Workshop University of Trento

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


Current Projects

CLUe (Complexity Laboratory Utrecht, UU)

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

CRITICS Critical Transitions in Complex Systems (H2020-MCSA-ITN).

NESSC Netherlands Earth System Science Center (NWO)

GLD (Garda Lake Dynamics and Mixing)



Papers (2015- 2018)

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. Buma, 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 Intelligercer, 37:101-102, (2015).
6. H. A. Dijkstra. A normal mode perspective of intrinsic ocean-climate variability, Annual Reviews of Fluid Mechanics, 48: 341-36, (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. J. F. Donges, J. Heitzig, B. Beronov, M. Wiedermann, J. Runge, Q.Y. Feng, L. Tupikina, V. Stolbova, R. V. Donner, N. Marwan, H. A. Dijkstra, and J. 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.
9. 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).
10. 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, (2016).
11. 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, 29, 4269-4291 (2016).
12. 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, 46, 2029–2047, (2016).
13. 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).
14. D. le Bars, J. Viebahn and H. A. Dijkstra, A Southern Ocean Mode of Multidecadal Variability, Geophysical Research Letters, doi: 10.1002/2016GL068177, (2016).
15. J. Viebahn, D. le Bars, A. vonder Heydt, and H. A. Dijkstra, Effects of Drake Passage on a strongly eddying global ocean, Paleoceanography, 31, 564–581, doi:10.1002/2015PA002888, (2016).
16. 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., 10.1002/cpe.3853, (2016).
17. M. Baatsen, D. J. J. van Hinsbergen, A. S. von der Heydt, H. A. Dijkstra, A. Sluijs, H. A. Abels, and P. K. Bijl, A generalised approach to reconstructing geographical boundary conditions for palaeoclimate modelling, Climate of the Past, 12, 1635–1644, (2016).
18. Z. Yin, S. C. Dekker, B. J. J. M. van den Hurk and H. A. Dijkstra, The climatic imprint of bimodal distributions in vegetation cover for western Africa, Biogeosciences, 13, 3343-3357, (2016).
19. A. S. von der Heydt, H. A. Dijkstra, R. S. W. van de Wal, R. Caballero, M. Crucifix, G. L. Foster, M. Huber, P. Kohler, E. Rohling, P. J. Valdes, P. Ashwin, S. Bathiany, T. Berends, L. G. J. van Bree, P. Ditlevsen, M. Ghil, A. M. Haywood, J. Katzav, G. Lohmann, J. Lohmann, V. Lucarini, A. Marzocchi, H. Palike, I. Ruvalcaba Baroni, D. Simon, A. Sluijs, L. B. Stap, A. Tantet, J. Viebahn, M. Ziegler, Lessons on Climate Sensitivity From Past Climate Changes, Curr Clim Change Reports, DOI 10.1007/s40641-016-0049-3, (2016).
20. L. Hahn-Woernle, H. A. Dijkstra, and Hans J. van der Woerd, 2016: Vertical Mixing Derived from Surface Chlorophyll-a Concentrations of the North Atlantic Ocean. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 33, 2165–2183, doi: 10.1175/JTECH-D-16-0053.1.
21. Q. Feng and H. A. Dijkstra, Climate Network Stability Measures of El Nino Variability, Chaos, 27, 035801; doi: 10.1063/1.4971784 (2017).
22. H. A. Dijkstra, A. Tantet, J. Viebahn, E. Mulder, M. Hebbink, D. Castellane, H. van den Pol, S. Baars, F. Wubs, M. Chekroun, C. Kuehn, A numerical framework to understand transitions in highdimensional stochastic dynamical systems, Dynamics and Statistics of the Climate System, 1, doi:10.1093/climsys/dzw003, (2016).
23.Bathiany, S., H. A. Dijkstra, M. Crucifix, V. Dakos, V. Brovkin, M. S. Williamson, T. M. Lenton, M. Scheffer. Beyond bifurcation – using complex models to understand and predict abrupt climate change, Dynamics and Statistics of the Climate System, 1, doi:10.1093/climsys/dzw004, (2016).
24. S.-E. Brunnabend, H. A. Dijkstra, M. A. Kliphuis, H. E. Bal, F. Seinstra, B. van Werkhoven, J. Maassen, and M. van Meersbergen. Changes in extreme regional sea level under global warming, Ocean Sci., 13, 47–60, (2017).
25. S.-E. Brunnabend and H. A. Dijkstra, Asymmetric response of the Atlantic Meridional Ocean Circulation to freshwater anomalies in a strongly-eddying global ocean model, Tellus A: Dynamic Meteorology and Oceanography, 69:1, 1-15 (2017).
26. C. E. Wieners, H. A. Dijkstra, W. P.M. de Ruijter. The influence of the Indian Ocean on ENSO stability and flavour, J. Climate, 30, 2601-2620, (2017).
27. Baars, S., J. P. Viebahn, T. E. Mulder, C. Kuehn, F.W. Wubs, H. A. Dijkstra, Continuation of Probability Density Functions using a Generalized Lyapunov Approach, J. Comp. Physics, 336, 627-643, (2017).
28. M. Toffolon, S. Piccolroaz and H. A. Dijkstra, A plunge into the depths of Lake Garda (Italy), EOS, 98, https://doi.org/10.1029/2017EO074499, (2017).
29. Q. Wang, Y. Tang and H. A. Dijkstra, An optimization strategy for identifying parameter sensitivity in atmosphere and ocean models, Monthly Weather Review, 145, 3293-3304, (2017). 
30. N. Bruggemann, C. A. Katsman and H. A. Dijkstra On the vorticity dynamics of the downwelling branch of the AMOC, CLIVAR exchanges, 71, 10-12 (2017).
31. T. E. Mulder, M. Baatsen, F.W. Wubs, H. A. Dijkstra, Efficient computation of past global ocean circulation patterns using continuation in paleobathymetry ,Ocean Modeling, 115, 77-85, (2017).
32. A. Oosterwijk, H. A. Dijkstra, and T. van Leeuwn, An adjoint-free method to determine conditional nonlinear optimal perturbations, Computers and Geosciences, 106, 190–199 (2017).
33. B. C. van Zalinge, Q. Y. Feng, M. Aengenheyster, and H. A. Dijkstra. On determining the point of no return in climate change, Earth Syst. Dynam., 8, 707–717 (2017).
34. I. Pelupessy, B. van Werkhoven, A. van Elteren, J. Viebahn, A. Candy, S. Portegies Zwart and H. A. Dijkstra. The Oceanographic Multipurpose Software Environment (OMUSE v1.0), Geoscientific Model Development, 10, 3167–3187, (2017).
35. H. A. Dijkstra, Multiple equilibria of the climate system, Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Climate Science, in press (2017).
36. R. van Westen and H. A. Dijkstra, Southern Ocean Origin of Multidecadal Variability in the North Brazil Current, Geophysical Research Letters, in press (2017).
37. F. Sevellec, H. A. Dijkstra, S. S. Drijfhout, A. Germe, Dynamical attribution of oceanic prediction uncertainty in the North Atlantic - Application to the design of optimal monitoring systems, Climate Dynamics, in press (2017).
38. C. E. Wieners, H. A. Dijkstra, W. P.M. de Ruijter. The influence of atmospheric convection on the interaction between the Indian Ocean and ENSO., J. Climate, in press, (2017).
39. H. A. Dijkstra and A.S. von der Heydt, Basic mechanisms of centennial climate variabilit, Past Global Changes Magazine, in press, (2017).
40. J. Guckenheimer, A. Timmermann, H. A. Dijkstra and A.J. Roberts, (Un)predictability of large ENSO events. Dynamics and Statistics of the Climate System, in press, (2017).
41. David Ferreira, Paola Cessi, Helen Coxall, Agatha de Boer, H. A. Dijkstra, Sybren S. Drijfhout, Tor Eldevik, Nili Harnik, J. F. McManus, David P. Marshall, Johan Nilsson, Fabien Roquet, Tapio Schneider, Robert C. Wills, Atlantic-Pacific asymmetry in deep water formation, Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Science, in press, (2018).
42. A. Tantet, V. Lucarini and H. A. Dijkstra, Resonances in a Chaotic Attractor Crisis of the Lorenz Flow. J. Statistical Physics, in press, (2018).
43. Mulder, T. E. , Baars, S., Wubs, F.W. and H. A. Dijkstra, Stochastic marine ice sheet variability, J. Fluid Mechanics, in press, (2018)
44. Baatsen, M., Kliphuis, M., Viebahn, J., H. A. Dijkstra and Von der Heydt, A.S., Multiple States in the Late Eocene Ocean Circulation, Global and Planetary Change, in press, (2018).
45. A. Tantet, V. Lucarini, F. Lunkeut and H. A. Dijkstra, Crisis of the Chaotic Attractor of a Climate Model: A Transfer Operator Approach, Nonlinearity, in press, (2018).
46. R. van Westen and the SCENES team, Mechanisms of the 40-70 day Variability in the Yucatan Channel Volume Transport, J. Geophysical Research, in press, (2018).

Group Members

Sebastiano Piccolroaz (UU-GLD)

Qingyi Feng

Claudia Wieners

Andre Juling

Erik Mulder

Michiel Baatsen

Rene van Westen

Daniele Castellana

MSc. students (2017-2018):  Swinda Falkena, Bryan Brouwer, Koen Helwegen




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 (2007-2017): Physica D

Editor (2010-2017): Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans

Editor (2014-2017): Earth System Dynamics

Past Editor (2005-2009): Reviews of Geophysics

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


Chair (2006 - 2017): 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