Climate and the Oceans

Front Cover
Princeton University Press, 2012 - Science - 231 pages
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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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Contents

1 Basics of Climate
1
A Descriptive Overview
22
3 A Brief Introduction to Dynamics
41
4 The Ocean Circulation
75
5 The Oceans Overall Role in Climate
105
6 Climate Variability from Weeks to Years
128
7 Global Warming and the Ocean
156
Notes
205
Further Reading
211
Glossary
215
References
223
Index
229
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About the author (2012)

Geoffrey K. Vallis is a senior scientist and professor in the Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at Princeton University. He is also an associate faculty member at the Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics, and a former professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Until recently he was editor of the Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences. His research interests include the general circulation of the ocean and atmosphere, turbulence theory, and climate dynamics. He has taught a wide range of topics at Princeton and the University of California, and he has published extensively in both the oceanographic and meteorological literature.