Nevaeh Anguilla New Website Press Release

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Press Release Published By: Zach Fritton

August 18, 2022

Before beginning a voyage, we usually try to learn about the places we will visit. We look at maps and we consult travel guides. In this book, our guide will be the papers and books published by oceanographers. We begin with a brief overview of what is known about the ocean. We then proceed to a description of the ocean basins, for the shape of the seas influences the physical processes in the water. Next, we study the external forces, wind and heat, acting on the ocean, and the ocean’s response. As we proceed, I bring in theory and observations as necessary. By the time we reach chapter 7, we will need to understand the equations describing dynamic response of the ocean. So we consider the equations of motion, the influence of earth’s rotation, and viscosity. This leads to a study of wind-driven ocean currents, the geostrophic approximation, and the usefulness of conservation of vorticity. Toward the end, we consider some particular examples: the deep circulation, the equatorial ocean and El Ni˜no, and the circulation of particular areas of the ocean. Next we look at the role of numerical models in describing the ocean. At the end, we study coastal processes, waves, tides, wave and tidal forecasting, tsunamis, and storm surges.

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The ocean is one part of the earth system. It mediates processes in the atmosphere by the transfers of mass, momentum, and energy through the sea surface. It receives water and dissolved substances from the land. And, it lays down sediments that eventually become rocks on land. Hence an understanding of the ocean is important for understanding the earth as a system, especially for understanding important problems such as global change or global warming. At a lower level, physical oceanography and meteorology are merging. The ocean provides the feedback leading to slow changes in the atmosphere. As we study the ocean, I hope you will notice that we use theory, observations, and numerical models to describe ocean dynamics. None is sufficient by itself.

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