12.003 Physics of Atmospheres and Oceans, Fall 2007
Author(s)Marshall, John C.
Physics of Atmospheres and Oceans
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The laws of classical mechanics and thermodynamics are used to explore how the properties of fluids on a rotating Earth manifest themselves in, and help shape, the global patterns of atmospheric winds, ocean currents, and the climate of the Earth. Theoretical discussion focuses on the physical processes involved. Underlying mechanisms are illustrated through laboratory demonstrations, using a rotating table, and through analysis of atmospheric and oceanic data.
Characteristics of the atmosphere, global energy balance, greenhouse effect, greenhouse gases, Atmospheric layers, pressure and density, Convection, adiabatic lapse rate, Humidity, Convective clouds, Temperature, Pressure and geopotential height, Winds, Fluids in motion, Hydrostatic balance, Incompressible flow, compressible flow, radial inflow, Geostrophic motion, Taylor-Proudman Theorem, Ekman layer, Coriolis force, Rossby number, Hadley circulation, ocean, seawater, salinity, geostrophic and hydrostatic balance, inhomogeneity, Abyssal circulation, thermohaline circulation