Essentials of Atmospheric and Oceanic Dynamics


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Table of Contents

Part I. Geophysical Fluid Dynamics: 1. Fluid fundamentals; 2. Equations for a rotating planet; 3. Dynamics on a rotating planet; 4. Shallow water equations; 5. Geostrophic theory; 6. Rossby waves; 7. Gravity waves; 8. Instability; 9. Waves and mean-flows; 10. Turbulence; Part II. Atmospheres: 11. The Hadley cell and the tropics; 12. Midlatitudes and the stratosphere; 13. Planetary atmospheres; Part III. Oceans: 14. Wind-driven gyres; 15. The thermocline and overturning circulation; 16. The equatorial ocean and El Niño; References; Index.

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A concise introduction to atmosphere-ocean dynamics at the intermediate-advanced undergraduate level, taking the reader from basic dynamics to cutting-edge topics.

About the Author

Geoffrey K. Vallis is a Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Exeter. Prior to taking up his position there, he taught for many years at Princeton University, New Jersey. He has carried out research in the atmospheric sciences, oceanography and the planetary sciences, and has published over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles. He is the recipient of various prizes and awards, including the Adrian Gill Prize (Royal Meteorological Society) and the Stanislaw M. Ulam Distinguished Scholar award (Los Alamos National Laboratory). He is the author of Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics: Fundamentals and Large-Scale Circulation (2nd Edition, Cambridge, 2017).


'The 'big book' [Atmospheric and Oceanic Dynamics Fluid] by Vallis is a treasure, but I suspect that this new 'Essentials' is destined to be used much more widely in classrooms. Vallis does a superb job of communicating the peculiar tensions between deductive reasoning and physical intuition that underlie this science. The new book is more approachable but no less rigorous … It's almost the perfect introductory textbook on this subject, and I plan to use it in my own courses.' Brian E. J. Rose, University at Albany

'He's done it again. In Essentials, Geoffrey K. Vallis has produced a text that is useful to the student and the experienced scientist alike. While the content is simplified and shortened compared to its parent text, Vallis now provides even more descriptive explanations to support readers in their quest to navigate the physics of fluid flows … Even readers with dog-eared versions of the parent book will want a copy of Essentials, for in it, Vallis has added an entirely new chapter on Planetary Atmospheres, allowing the interested reader to venture into outer-space to apply their newly honed GFD expertise.' Elizabeth A. Barnes, Colorado State University

'Geoffrey K. Vallis provides us with the definitive graduate level textbook, with just the right balance of essential topics alongside glimpses of more advanced topics at the cutting edge of research. The extensive use of margin notes, diamonds to indicate advanced topics, and a comprehensive set of problems, will ensure that Essentials of Atmospheric and Oceanic Dynamics has much to offer students and researchers at all levels. The book opens with the quote: "Seek simplicity, accept complexity. Exploit simplification, avoid complication.” On all counts, this book succeeds magnificently!' David Marshall, University of Oxford

'As its parent book became the bible of the field … this new book provides a perfect balance and introduction to the essential topics, giving a quick reference without going into all the details … it is presented clearly, perfectly packaged, and is well organized … Its simplicity will make it majestically appealing both for people outside the discipline looking for an accessible, yet complete, introduction, and for students within the field at all levels. The inclusion of planetary atmospheres broadens the scope … Anyone with a background in physics can get the essentials using this book.' Yohai Kaspi, Weizmann Institute of Science

'… fills an important niche by offering an articulate and authoritative textbook to be worked through by advanced undergraduates and/or entering graduate students taking courses. The inclusion of exercises … is incredibly valuable for both students and teachers clamoring for more problem sets to test understanding … and offers a pedagogical entree for those wishing to test the waters,  including some deep waters. I will … make use of them for personal study and to support the teaching of geophysical fluid dynamics. Vallis has a clear writing style that brings the reader into the subject in an authoritative and friendly manner. He is a wise guru and gentle tutor. The subject of ocean and atmosphere fluid mechanics has matured greatly through his efforts at writing Atmospheric and Oceanic Dynamics Fluid [Vallis' previous book].  Essentials furthers that maturation by allowing for a broader readership to tap into his brain. Well done Geoffrey!' Stephen M. Griffies, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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