Achim Stössel

Achim Stössel

Associate Professor Emeritus

Physical Oceanography: Representation of Polar Processes in Climate Models



  • Southern Ocean high-latitude processes in global climate models
  • Impact of Antarctic sea ice and convection on deep-ocean properties and circulation
  • Convection induced variability along deep-western boundary
  • Atmospheric boundary layer over heterogeneous sea ice
  • Simulation of plume convection in sea-ice – ocean models
  • Impact of Antarctic orography on simulated coastal polynyas
  • Representation of open-ocean polynyas and Antarctic slope front in high-resolution Earth System Models (ESMs)

Current and recent Projects/Collaborations:

  • Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL): “Weddell Sea polynyas and propagation of Antarctic Bottom Water anomalies in preindustrial high-resolution Energy Exascale ESM version 0.1 (E3SMv0) simulation”. Collaborators: Milena Veneziani, Prajvala Kurtakoti (former Ph.D. student), Wilbert Weijer, Mathew Maltrud.
  • Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M): “Representation of mesoscale processes in high-latitude Southern Ocean of high-resolution MPI-ESMs”. Collaborators: Johann Jungclaus, Helmuth Haak, Oliver Gutjahr, Jin-Song von Storch.
  • International Laboratory for High-Resolution Earth System Prediction (iHESP): “Analysis of open-ocean polynyas and Antarctic slope fronts in long-term preindustrial and historical/future CESM1.3 simulations”. Collaborators: Ping Chang, Xiliang Diao (former Ph.D. student), Gokhan Danabasoglu, Abishek Gopal.

Selected Publications

  • Diao, X., Stössel, A., Chang, P., Danabasoglu, G., Yeager, S.G., Zhang, S., and Wang, H. 2022. On the intermittent occurrence of open-ocean polynyas in a multi-century high-resolution preindustrial Earth System Model simulation. Journal of Geophysical Research – Oceans, 127, e2021JC017672.
  • Kurtakoti, P., Veneziani, M., Stössel, A., Weijer, W., Maltrud, M. 2021. On the generation of Weddell Sea polynyas in a high-resolution Earth System Model. Journal of Climate 34, 2491-2510.
  • Chang, P., Zhang, S., Danabasoglu, G., Yeager, S.G., Fu, H., Wang, H., et al. 2020. An unprecedented set of high-resolution Earth system simulations for understanding multiscale interactions in climate variability and change. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 12, e2020MS002298.
  • Gutjahr, O., Putrahasan, D., Lohmann, K., Jungclaus, J., von Storch, J.-S., Brüggemann, N., Haak, H., Stössel, A. 2019. Max Planck Institute Earth System Model (MPI-ESM1.2) for the High-Resolution Model Intercomparison Project (HighResMIP). Geoscientific Model Development 12, 3241-3281.
  • Kurtakoti, P., Veneziani, M., Stössel, A., and Weijer, W. 2018. Preconditioning and formation of Maud Rise polynyas in a high-resolution Earth System Model. Journal of Climate 31, 9659-9678.
  • Stössel, A., von Storch, J-S., Notz, D., Haak, H., and Gerdes, R. 2018. High-frequency and meso-scale winter sea-ice variability in the Southern Ocean in a high-resolution global ocean model. Ocean Dynamics 68, 347-361.
  • Weijer, W., Veneziani, M., Stössel, A., Hecht, M., Jeffery, N., Jonko, A., Hodos, T., and Wang, H., 2017: Local Atmospheric Response to an Open-Ocean Polynya in a High-Resolution Climate Model. Journal of Climate 30, 1629-1641.
  • Zhang, Z., Uotila, P., Stössel, A., Vihma, T., Liu, H., and Zhong, Y., 2017: Seasonal southern hemisphere multi-variable reflection of the southern annular mode in atmosphere and ocean reanalyses. Climate Dynamics 50, 1451-1470.
  • Stössel, A. 2017. Ice mechanics and structures. Encyclopedia of Marine and Offshore Engineering. Wiley, U.K., 1-9.
  • Zhang, Z., Vihma, T., Stössel, A., and Uotila, P. 2015. The role of wind forcing from operational analyses for the model representation of Antarctic coastal sea ice. Ocean Modelling 94, 95-111.
  • Stössel, A., Notz, D., Haumann, F.A., Haak, H., Jungclaus, J., and Mikolajewicz, U. 2015. Controlling high-latitude Southern Ocean convection in climate models. Ocean Modelling 86, 58-75.
  • Stössel, A., Zhang, Z., and Vihma, T. 2011. The effect of alternative real-time wind forcing on Southern Ocean sea-ice simulations. Journal of Geophysical Research 116, C11021.
  • Cheon, W.G., and Stössel, A. 2009. Oceanic response to interactive momentum flux over southern hemisphere sea ice. Journal of Geophysical Research 114, C12002.
  • Stössel, A., Cheon, W.G., and Vihma, T. 2008. Interactive momentum-flux forcing over sea ice in a global ocean GCM. Journal of Geophysical Research 113, C05010.
  • Stössel, A. 2008. Employing satellite-derived sea-ice concentration to constrain upper-ocean temperature in a global ocean GCM. Journal of Climate 21, 4498-4513.
  • Stössel, A., Stössel, M.M. and Kim, J.-T. 2007. High-resolution sea ice in long-term global ocean GCM integrations. Ocean Modelling 16, 206-223.
  • Stössel, A. and Kim, J.-T. 2006. Enhancing the resolution of sea ice in a global ocean GCM. Ocean Modelling 11, 28-48.
  • Powell, D.C., Markus, T., and Stössel, A. 2005. Effects of snow depth forcing on Southern Ocean sea ice simulations. Journal of Geophysical Research 110, C06001.
  • Haapala, J., Lönnroth, N., and Stössel, A. 2005. A numerical study of open water formation in sea ice. Journal of Geophysical Research 110, C09011.
  • Stössel, A. and Markus, T. 2004. Using satellite-derived ice concentration to represent Antarctic coastal polynyas in ocean climate models. Journal of Geophysical Research 109, C02014.
  • Stössel, A., Yang, K., and Kim, S.-J. 2002. On the role of sea ice and convection in a global ocean model. Journal of Physical Oceanography 32, 1194-1208.
  • Stössel, A. and Kim, S.-J. 2001. Decadal deep-water variability in the subtropical Atlantic and convection in the Weddell Sea. Journal of Geophysical Research 106, 22,425-22,440.
  • Kim, S.-J. and Stössel, A. 2001. Impact of subgrid-scale convection on global thermohaline properties and circulation. Journal of Physical Oceanography 31, 656-674.
  • Stössel, A., Kim, S.-J., and Drijfhout, S.S. 1998. The impact of Southern Ocean sea ice in a global ocean model. Journal of Physical Oceanography 28, 1999-2018.
  • Stössel, A. and Kim, S.-J. 1998. An interannual Antarctic sea-ice - ocean mode. Geophysical Research Letters 25, 1007-1010.
  • Kim, S.-J., Crowley, T.J., and Stössel, A. 1998. Local orbital forcing of Antarctic climate change during the last interglacial. Science 280, 728-730.
  • Kim, S.-J. and Stössel, A. 1998. On the representation of the Southern Ocean water masses in an ocean climate model. Journal of Geophysical Research 103, 24,891-24,906.
  • Stössel, A., 1997. On the impact of sea ice in a global ocean circulation model. Annals of Glaciology 25, 111-115.
  • Legutke, S., Maier-Reimer, E., Stössel, A. and Hellbach, A. 1997. Ocean - sea ice coupling in a global general ocean circulation model. Annals of Glaciology 25, 116-120.
  • Stössel, A. 1996. On the ocean's upper boundary conditions in regions influenced by sea ice. Physica D 98, 614-624.
  • Stössel, A., Oberhuber, J.M. and Maier-Reimer, E. 1996. On the representation of sea ice in global ocean general circulation models. Journal of Geophysical Research 101, 18,193-18,212.
  • Cubasch, U., Santer, B.D., Hellbach, A., Hegerl, G., Höck, H., Maier-Reimer, E., Mikolajewicz, U., Stössel, A., Voss, R. 1994. Monte Carlo climate change forecasts with a global coupled ocean - atmosphere model. Climate Dynamics 10, 1-19.
  • Stössel, A. and Claussen, M. 1993. On the momentum forcing of a large-scale sea-ice model. Climate Dynamics 9, 71-80.
  • Stössel, A. 1992. Sensitivity of Southern Ocean sea-ice simulations to different atmospheric forcing algorithms. Tellus 44A, 395-413.
  • Stössel, A. 1991. Application of an atmospheric boundary-layer model to a large-scale coupled sea-ice - oceanic mixed-layer model for the Southern Ocean. Annals of Glaciology 15, 191-195.
  • Stössel, A., Lemke, P. and Owens, W. B. 1990. Coupled sea ice - mixed layer simulations for the Southern Ocean. Journal of Geophysical Research 95, 9539-9555.
  • Stössel, A. 1985. Thermodynamic calculations of ice production in the northern Baltic proper. Ocean Dynamics 38, 261-284.


Ph.D. Physical Oceanography, University of Hamburg, Germany, 1990, Dissertation at Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg.

M.S. Physical Oceanography, University of Hamburg, 1985, Thesis at German Hydrographic Institute, Hamburg.

B.S. Physical Oceanography, University of Kiel, Germany, 1977. 

Unlimited Master and Chief Mate certificate for Merchant Marine, Hamburg, 1986.

M. Eng. Nautical Engineering, Maritime College, Hamburg, 1982.


  • Oceanography (OCNG 251)
  • Introduction to Physical Oceanography (OCNG 410)
  • Mathematical Modeling of Ocean Climate (OCNG 451)
  • Physical Oceanography (OCNG 608)
  • Dynamics of Ocean and Atmosphere (OCNG 614)
  • Numerical modeling of ocean circulation I (OCNG 615)
  • Numerical modeling of ocean circulation II (OCNG 616)

Additional Information


  • Associate Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Oceanography, TAMU, since 2022
  • Associate Professor, Dept. of Oceanography, TAMU, 2000-2022
  • Assistant Professor, Dept. of Oceanography, TAMU, 1994-2000
  • Research Scientist, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M), 1990-1994
  • Graduate Research Assistant, MPI-M, 1986-1990
  • Visiting Scientist at:
  • MPI-M, 1998, 2000, 2004, 2011-2019 (20 months total)
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory, NM, 2013-2018 (1 month total)
  • Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, 2010, 2011, 2013 (2 months total)
  • Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium, 1997, 1998, 2013 (1 month total)
  • Finnish Institute of Marine Research, Helsinki, 1986, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008 (5 months total)
  • of Geophysics, University of Helsinki, 2000-2002 (3 months total)
  • Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, De Bilt, 1999 (2 months)
  • German Climate Computing Center, Hamburg, 1996, 1997 (4 months total)
  • Nautical Officer, German Merchant Marine, 1982-1986 (2 years total)
  • Deckhand/Cadet, German and Finnish Merchant Marine, 1975-1981 (2 years total)

Former and current students

  • Seong Joong Kim, Ph.D. in 1998; 0.5 year as postdoc
  • Kun Yang, Ph.D. student (2 years)
  • Joong Tae Kim, Ph.D. in 2007
  • Nadja Lönnroth, Ph.D. student (1 year)
  • Christina Stover, M.S. in 2006 (co-chair)
  • Woo Geun Cheon, Ph.D. in 2008
  • Who Myung Kim, Ph.D. in 2013 (co-chair)
  • Zhaoru Zhang, Ph.D. in 2013 (2 years)
  • Benjamin Morgan, M.S. in 2011 (co-chair)
  • Prajvala Kurtakoti, Ph.D. in 2019
  • Amanda Walker, B.S. in 2015
  • Xiliang Diao, Ph.D. in 2022


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