Climate and the Oceans

Princeton Primers in Climate

Book 3
Princeton University Press
1
Free sample

The oceans exert a vital moderating influence on the Earth's climate system. They provide inertia to the global climate, essentially acting as the pacemaker of climate variability and change, and they provide heat to high latitudes, keeping them habitable. Climate and the Oceans offers a short, self-contained introduction to the subject. This illustrated primer begins by briefly describing the world's climate system and ocean circulation and goes on to explain the important ways that the oceans influence climate. Topics covered include the oceans' effects on the seasons, heat transport between equator and pole, climate variability, and global warming. The book also features a glossary of terms, suggestions for further reading, and easy-to-follow mathematical treatments.

Climate and the Oceans is the first place to turn to get the essential facts about this crucial aspect of the Earth's climate system. Ideal for students and nonspecialists alike, this primer offers the most concise and up-to-date overview of the subject available.


  • The best primer on the oceans and climate

  • Succinct and self-contained

  • Accessible to students and nonspecialists

  • Serves as a bridge to more advanced material

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About the author

Geoffrey K. Vallis is professor and senior scientist in the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Program and the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton University. He is the author of the standard graduate text Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Oct 10, 2011
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Pages
248
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ISBN
9781400840625
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / Earth Sciences / General
Science / Earth Sciences / Meteorology & Climatology
Science / Earth Sciences / Oceanography
Science / Environmental Science
Science / Global Warming & Climate Change
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Predictions of our future climate vary greatly, with detailed forecasts still subject to debate. One key uncertainty is caused by the lack of our present knowledge of transport processes in the air-water interface, which poses the main transfer resistance between the oceans and atmosphere. Modeling and predictions of our global climate can only be improved by gaining a more complete understanding of the mechanisms involved in transporting energy, mass and momentum across the phase boundary.

This monograph contains selected, peer-reviewed post-conference contributions of the International Workshop on Transport at the Air-Sea Interface, which took place at Heidelberg University from September 6-8, 2006. The workshop brought together leading scientists from around the world, bridged the gap between modeling and measurements, and sparked new ideas for novel simulation and experimental efforts. The focus of the monograph is on small scale processes directly at the interface and includes the topics:

- Small-scale transport processes at the air-sea interface: surface divergence, microscale and largescale wave breaking, intermittency and rain-induced gas exchange

- Novel measurement techniques including eddy correlation measurements, active and passive thermography, visualization of concentration fields by fluorescent dyes, profile measurements and visualization of flow fields by particle imaging velocimetry (PIV)

- Modeling of the transport across the air-water interface and simulation of flow fields as well as concentration fields in the boundary layer

- Parameterizations of the transfer process for global modeling

The world's oceans account for roughly 71 percent of the planet's surface and 99 percent of its livable volume. Any study of this huge habitat requires a solid foundation in the principles that underlie marine biology and physical and chemical oceanography, yet until now undergraduate textbooks have largely presented compilations of facts rather than explanations of principles. How the Ocean Works fills this gap, providing a concise and accessible college-level introduction to marine science that is also ideal for general readers.

How are winds and currents driven? What is the dilemma of the two-layered ocean? Mark Denny explains key concepts like these in rich and fascinating detail. He explores early scientific knowledge of oceans, photosynthesis, trophic interactions and energy flow, and the impacts of human activities on marine and atmospheric systems. Focusing each chapter on a major topic and carefully explaining the principles and theory involved, Denny gives readers the conceptual building blocks needed to develop a coherent picture of the living ocean. How the Ocean Works is an indispensable resource that teaches readers how to think about the ocean--its biology, mechanics, and conservation.



Provides a concise, up-to-date introduction to marine science
Develops the conceptual basis needed to understand how the ocean works
Explains fundamental principles and theory
Includes color illustrations and informative diagrams
Serves as a college textbook and a reference for general readers
Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.
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