Harry Bryden

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Harry Bryden
Harry Leonard Bryden

(1946-07-09) 9 July 1946 (age 74)
Providence, Rhode Island, United States of America
NationalityAmerican, British
Alma mater Dartmouth College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Known for Thermohaline circulation
Scientific career
Fields Physical oceanographer
Institutions Oregon State University (OSU), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS)
Doctoral advisor Nick Fofonoff
Website noc.soton.ac.uk/JRD/HYDRO/hlb/

Harry Leonard Bryden, FRS (born 9 July 1946) is an American physical oceanographer, professor at University of Southampton, [1] and staff at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton. [2] He is best known for his pioneering work in ocean circulation and in the role of the ocean in the Earth's climate. [3]


Early life and education

Born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1946, Bryden received his A.B. degree in mathematics from Dartmouth College. For a short period after graduation, he worked as a mathematician on oceanographic topics for offices of the United States Navy in Maryland and Connecticut. Bryden's doctoral training in oceanography was undertaken at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) through the long-standing joint program for students that operates between these institutes. [4] During his time at MIT-WHOI, Bryden completed and published work on a number of topics including water mass properties, [5] Mediterranean outflow [6] and geostrophy. [7] He was supervised initially by Henry Stommel and then principally by Nick Fofonoff, and his thesis title was "Momentum, Mass, Heat, and Vorticity Balances from Oceanic Measurements of Current and Temperature". [8]


Upon competing his doctoral thesis, Bryden briefly moved to Oregon State University to work as a post-doctoral researcher, before returning to WHOI in 1977. He was awarded tenure at WHOI in 1983, and remained there until 1992, ultimately reaching the position of Senior Scientist. Bryden then moved to the United Kingdom and the Institute of Oceanographic Sciences (IOS), a unit funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). He moved with IOS to Southampton when it partnered with the University of Southampton to create the Southampton Oceanography Centre, and has remained with its successor institutes. Though partially retired, Bryden remains active at the University of Southampton in both research and the wider scientific community.

A particular focus of Bryden's research is the large-scale thermohaline circulation of the ocean, in particular its role in transporting heat. [9] [10] A decline in the strength of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) caused by global warming has been hypothesised, and Bryden and colleagues have studied this via the RAPID array [11] that crosses the Atlantic at 26.5°N. [12] [13]

Awards and honours

In 2003, Bryden both became a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, and was awarded the society's Henry Stommel Research Award "for fundamental and elegant observational contributions to understanding the oceanic general circulation". In 2005, Bryden was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. [14] In 2009, he won the Prince Albert I Medal "in recognition of his fundamental contributions to understanding the ocean's role in the global climate system". [15] In 2010, Bryden was elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. [16] Bryden served as President of the Challenger Society for Marine Science from 2010 to 2012. In late 2012, the European Geosciences Union awarded Bryden the 2013 Fridtjof Nansen Medal for his contributions to Earth sciences. [17] In 2013, in recognition of his work, Bryden was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society (RMetS). [18]

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  3. Biography, Challenger Society for Marine Science Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  4. "MIT/WHOI Joint Program". Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
  5. Bryden, H.L. (1973). "New polynomials for thermal expansion, adiabatic temperature gradient and potential temperature of sea water". Deep-Sea Research. 20 (4): 401–408. doi:10.1016/0011-7471(73)90063-6.
  6. Stommel, H.; Bryden, H.L.; Mangelsdorf, P. (1973). "Does some of the Mediterranean outflow come from great depth?". Pure and Applied Geophysics. 105 (1): 879–889. Bibcode:1973PApGe.105..879S. doi:10.1007/BF00875837.
  7. Bryden, H.L. (1974). "Geostrophic comparisons using moored measurements of current and temperature". Nature. 251 (5474): 409–410. Bibcode:1974Natur.251..409B. doi:10.1038/251409a0.
  8. Bryden, H.L. (1975). Momentum, mass, heat, and vorticity balances from oceanic measurements of current and temperature (PhD). Massachusetts Institute of Technology. hdl:1721.1/51384.
  9. Bryden, H.L.; Hall, M.M. (1980). "Heat transport by currents across 25°N latitude in the Atlantic Ocean". Science. 207 (4433): 884–886. Bibcode:1980Sci...207..884B. doi:10.1126/science.207.4433.884. PMID   17729868.
  10. Bryden, H.L.; Roemmich, D.H.; Church, J.A. (1991). "Ocean heat transport across 24°N in the Pacific". Deep-Sea Research. 38 (3): 297–324. Bibcode:1991DSRI...38..297B. doi:10.1016/0198-0149(91)90070-V.
  11. "'The Day After Tomorrow' – fact or fiction?". Natural Environment Research Council. 28 May 2004. Archived from the original on 21 March 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  12. Bryden, H.L.; Longworth, H.R.; Cunningham, S.A. (2005). "Slowing of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation at 25°N". Nature. 438 (7068): 655–657. Bibcode:2005Natur.438..655B. doi:10.1038/nature04385. PMID   16319889.
  13. Cunningham, S.A.; Kanzow, T.; Rayner, D.; Baringer, M.O.; Johns, W.E.; Marotzke, J.; Longworth, H.R.; Grant, E.M.; Hirschi, J.J-M.; Beal, L.M.; Meinen, C.S.; Bryden, H.L. (2007). "Temporal Variability of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation at 26.5°N". Science. 317 (5840): 935–938. Bibcode:2007Sci...317..935C. doi:10.1126/science.1141304. PMID   17702940.
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  18. "Honorary Fellows of RMetS". Royal Meteorological Society. Retrieved 26 July 2016.