Christopher Wolfe

wolfeAssociate Professor

Ph.D., Oregon State University, 2006.
Physical oceanography, large-scale circulation: theory and modeling.
Pitt Wolfe Lab Group


Research Interests

Effect of ocean circulation on climate; large-scale ocean circulation, overturning circulation, and deep stratification; mesoscale eddies and the effect on the large-scale circulation; ocean modeling; predictability and forecasting; nonlinear dynamics in geophysical flows; buoyancy driven currents and their instabilities.


  1. Wolfe, C. L., P. Cessi, and B. D. Cornuelle, 2017: An intrinsic mode of interannual variability in the Indian Ocean. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 47 (3), 701–719, doi:10.1175/jpo-d-16-0177.1.
  2. Wolfe, C. L., and P. Cessi, 2015: Multiple regimes and low-frequency variability in the quasi-adiabatic overturning circulation. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 45 (6), 1690–1708, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-14-0095.1.
  3. Wolfe, C. L., 2014: Approximations to the ocean’s residual circulation in arbitrary tracer coordinates. Ocean Modell., 75, 20–35, doi:10.1016/j.ocemod.2013.12.004.
  4. Wolfe, C. L., and P. Cessi, 2014: Salt feedback in the adiabatic overturning circulation. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 44 (4), 1175–1194, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-13-0154.1.
  5. Young, W. R., and C. L. Wolfe, 2014: Generation of ripples by shear-flow instability. J. Fluid Mech., 739, 276–307, doi:10.1017/jfm.2013.617.
  6. Cessi, P., and C. L. Wolfe, 2013: Adiabatic eastern boundary currents. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 43 (6), 1127–1149, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-12-0211.1.
  7. Norwood, A., E. Kalnay, K. Ide, S.-C. Yang, and C. Wolfe, 2013: Lyapunov, singular and bred vectors in a multi-scale system: an empirical exploration of vectors related to instabilities. J. Phys. A: Math. Theor., 46 (25), 254 021, doi:10.1088/1751-8113/46/25/254021.
  8. Wolfe, C. L., and P. Cessi, 2011: The adiabatic pole-to-pole overturning circulation. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 41 (9), 1795–1810, doi:10.1175/2011JPO4570.1.
  9. Cessi, P., C. L. Wolfe, and B. C. Ludka, 2010: Eastern-boundary contribution to the residual and meridional overturning circulations. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 40 (9), 2075–2090, doi:10.1175/2010JPO4426.1.
  10. Wolfe, C. L., and P. Cessi, 2010: What sets the strength of the mid-depth stratification and overturning circulation in eddying ocean models? J. Phys. Oceanogr., 40 (7), 1520–1538, doi:10.1175/2010JPO4393.1.
  11. Cessi, P., and C. L. Wolfe, 2009: Eddy-driven buoyancy gradients on eastern boundaries and their role in the thermocline. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 39 (7), 1595–1614, doi:10.1175/2009JPO4063.1.
  12. Wolfe, C. L., and P. Cessi, 2009: Overturning in an eddy-resolving model: The effect of the pole-to-pole temperature gradient. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 39 (1), 125–142, doi:10.1175/2008JPO3991.1.
  13. Wolfe, C. L., P. Cessi, J. L. McClean, and M. E. Maltrud, 2008: Vertical heat flux in eddying ocean models. Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L23 605, doi:10.1029/2008GL036138.
  14. Wolfe, C. L., and R. M. Samelson, 2008: Singular vectors and time-dependent normal modes of a baroclinic wave-mean oscillations. J. Atmos. Sci., 65 (3), 875–894, doi:10.1175/2007JAS2364.1.
  15. Wolfe, C. L., and R. M. Samelson, 2007: An efficient method for recovering Lyapunov vectors from singular vectors. Tellus, 59A (3), 355–366, doi:10.1111/j.1600-0870.2007.00234.x.
  16. Wolfe, C. L., and C. Cenedese, 2006: Laboratory experiments on eddy generation by a buoyant coastal current flowing over variable bathymetry. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 36 (3), 395–411, doi:10.1175/JPO2857.1.
  17. Wolfe, C. L., and R. M. Samelson, 2006: Normal-mode analysis of a baroclinic wave-mean oscillation. J. Atmos. Sci., 63 (11), 2795–2812, doi:10.1175/JAS3788.1.
  18. Samelson, R. M., and C. L. Wolfe, 2003: A nonlinear baroclinic wave-mean oscillation with multiple normal-mode instabilities. J. Atmos. Sci., 60 (9), 1186–1199, doi:10.1175/1520-0469(2003)060<1186:ANBWOW>2.0.CO;2.


Wolfe, C. L., 2006: Quantifying linear disturbance growth in periodic and aperiodic systems. Oregon State University dissertation.

Wolfe, C. L., 2003: Eddy generation by flow over variable topography. WHOI Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Summer School Proceedings, Volume 2003.


Related News Articles

SoMAS Convocation 2019

Photo above: Dean Shepson welcomes the Class of 2019 at the SoMAS Convocation. Congratulations to our graduates!  The annual SoMAS Convocation occurred on Friday, May 24, 2019 at the Center for Leadership and Service. Students gathered with their friends and family...

SoMAS Celebrates Earthstock 2017

Earthstock, the Stony Brook University annual celebration of Earth Day, has been an annual tradition for years.  This year, in honor of our 50th Anniversary, SoMAS had a very significant presence at the event. On Monday April 17th, New York State Assemblyman Steve...

Vax to Flax 2017

Many thanks to those who participated and assisted with the 2017 Flax to Vax Race + BBQ on Saturday. Heather Lynch and Kurt Bretsch won for the faculty and Mark Nepf and Ashley Cohen won for the students. Overall the top five faculty times beat the top ten student...

2017 Maze-Landeau Graduate Student Fund for Excellence Winners

The School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences is pleased to announce that a limited number of travel awards were made available through the generosity of the Maze-Landeau Graduate Student Fund for Excellence. These awards were competitive and are for full-time...

SoMAS 2016 Retrospective Banquet

Many thanks for those that joined us on December 14, 2016 for our Holiday Retrospective with great food and people. The highlight was when Santa arrived and the little ones all got a ride with him. A special thank you to those who helped organize the event including...

SoMAS Alumni Reunite at 2016 Ocean Sciences Meeting in New Orleans

SoMAS faculty and alumni attending the 2016 Ocean Sciences Meeting in New Orleans gathered for an alumni reunion. Professors Gordon Taylor and Mary Scranton organized the event and invited SoMAS alumni present at the conference to reunite.  Other SoMAS faculty in...

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Subscribe By Email

This form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Skip to toolbar