Essentials of Atmospheric and Oceanic Dynamics

January 1, 2019

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Essentials of Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Mechanics is an introductory book written for advanced undergraduates or beginning graduate students, or for scientists who are not 'professional dynamicists' and who may want an accessible introduction to the field. It is what its title says, with an emphasis on large-scale phenomena and circulation. It differs from its parent book, Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics, in two ways.

  • It is much shorter, about 1/3 the size. Many advanced or inessential sections are omitted.
  • The explanations are simplified where possible.
It is written for students and scientists who want an introduction to the subject but who don't want all the gory detail. It is meant to be accessible to non-specialists and will be suitable for students who will not necessarily go on to become dynamicists. It could be used as a text for 3rd or 4th year undergraduates, or as a first course in graduate school. Prerequisites are familiarity with vector calculus and basic classical physics, or at least willingness to do some reading on those topics while studying this book.

As well as very basic material it includes some elementary introductions to a few 'advanced' topics, such as geostrophic turbulence and the Transformed Eulerian Mean, and it also includes material on the general circulation of the atmosphere and ocean. The advanced topics could easily be omitted for a first course.

The book is divided into three parts: (i) Geophysical Fluid Dynamics; (ii) Atmospheric Circulation (including a chapter on planetary atmospheres) and (iii) Ocean Circulation. The book contains about enough material for two semesters' worth of courses, and there are various ways it can be partitioned into two courses of one semester each. The table of contents is at the bottom of the page.

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The book will be available online in Cambridge Core in late January and in print on January 24 2019 in Europe, and in February in the Americas, Australia and Asia. It is being published by:

Cambridge University Press, for general information and hard copy
Cambridge Core, for electronic download.

Individuals may obtain the e-book here:

To obtain a print copy you can use one of the links below, or the Amazon in your country, or your favorite bookstore:

Amazon USA           Amazon UK         Amazon Japan         Amazon Australia
        Amazon Italy         Amazon Germany         Amazon Canada
Amazon France           Amazon India       Cambridge Univ. Press

The generic Amazon address of the book is:

where xxx is specific to your country. For example, in the US, xxx = com, and in Japan xxx =

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Fluid Fundamentals

Chapter 2. Equations for a Rotating Planet

Chapter 3. Dynamics on a Rotating Planet

Chapter 4. Shallow Water Equations

Chapter 5. Geostrophic Theory

Chapter 6. Rossby Waves

Chapter 7. Gravity Waves

Chapter 8. Instability

Chapter 9. Waves and Mean Flows

Chapter 10. Turbulence


Chapter 11. The Tropical Atmosphere

Chapter 12. Midlatitudes and the Stratosphere

Chapter 13. Planetary Atmospheres


Chapter 14. Wind-Driven Gyres

Chapter 14. The Overturning Circulation and Thermocline

Chapter 16. Equatorial Oceans and El Nino