Fundamentals of Geophysical Fluid Dynamics

Fundamentals of Geophysical Fluid Dynamics

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James C. McWilliams
Cambridge University Press, 2006-07-20
EAN 9780521856379, ISBN10: 052185637X

Paperback, 266 pages, 24.7 x 24.6 x 17.8 cm

Earth's atmosphere and oceans exhibit complex patterns of fluid motion over a vast range of space and time scales. These patterns combine to establish the climate in response to solar radiation that is inhomogeneously absorbed by the materials comprising air, water, and land. Spontaneous, energetic variability arises from instabilities in the planetary-scale circulations, appearing in many different forms such as waves, jets, vortices, boundary layers, and turbulence. Geophysical fluid dynamics (GFD) is the science of all these types of fluid motion. This textbook is a concise and accessible introduction to GFD for intermediate to advanced students of the physics, chemistry, and/or biology of Earth's fluid environment. The book was developed from the author's many years of teaching a first-year graduate course at the University of California, Los Angeles. Readers are expected to be familiar with physics and mathematics at the level of general dynamics (mechanics) and partial differential equations.

'... a delightfully refreshing introduction to graduate-level geophysical fluid dynamics. This well-written text includes a concise review of the needed applied mathematics, physics and fluid dynamics. The text pulls examples not only from the atmospheres and oceans but also from recent numerical studies and laboratory experiments in nonlinear dynamics, solitons, chaos and 2- and 3-dimensional turbulence, with an appropriate emphasis on their relevance to geophysical fluid dynamics. Some topics, for example geostrophic adjustment, are more clearly explained and are better physically motivated here than in any other text I have read. This book should not only be on the shelves of all geophysical fluid dynamicists, but also physicists, astronomers, and applied mathematicians.' Philip Marcus, University of California, Berkeley