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No longer at LDEO: 
Lamont Research Professor
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Ocean and Climate Physics
Adjunct Professor
Earth and Environmental Sciences
202C Oceanography
61 Route 9W - PO Box 1000
(845) 365-8338
(845) 365-8157


Fields of interest: 
ocean dynamics, climate theory

Ocean is often said to be the earth's last frontier, which has not ceased surprising us with its deep secrets. Our understanding of the ocean circulation also has a "dream-like" quality, as characterized by the oceanographer Henry Stommel about half century ago, which has only slightly cleared in the years since. Although dynamical equations governing the ocean motion are well established, it is their application to specific physical settings to explain the observed phenomena that poses the challenge. Moreover, the ocean circulation is coupled to the global wind, which presents a whole new problem that has scarcely been explored --- and yet defines the essential character of the climate., Whence lie my two main research interests: the dynamics of specific ocean phenomena, and the fundamental working of the climate system. The former include that of boundary currents, fronts, eddies, tides, and others. For the latter, I have recently proposed a narrow bound on the earth?s temperature on account of intrinsic properties of water, and I have invoked a simple dynamical principle to unify large-scale circulations of the ocean and atmosphere. Based on insights gained from these studies, I hope in the near future to explore the physics of glacial oscillation and abrupt climate changes.

List of degrees from highest to lowest:
Ph. D.
MIT/WHOI Joint Program

Selected Publications:

Tidal diffusivity: A mechanism for frontogenesis Ou, H. W.; Dong, C. M.; Chen, D. Journal of Physical Oceanography Apr Volume: 33 Issue: 4 p.: 840-847 (2003)
Subduction along a midocean front and the generation of intrathermocline eddies: A theoretical study Ou, H. W.; Gordon, A. Journal of Physical Oceanography Jun Volume: 32 Issue: 6 p.: 1975-1986 (2002)
Geostrophic Adjustment - a Mechanism for Frontogenesis Ou, H. W. Journal of Physical Oceanography Volume: 14 Issue: 6 p.: 994-1000 (1984)
A Model of the Summer Progression of the Cold-Pool Temperature in the Middle Atlantic Bight Ou, H. W.; Houghton, R. Journal of Physical Oceanography Volume: 12 Issue: 10 p.: 1030-1036 (1982)