Books  Environmental Science  Oceanography 

Ocean Circulation and Climate: A 21st Century Perspective

Presents in situ and remote observations with worldwide coverage;
Provides theoretical understanding of processes within the ocean and at its boundaries to other Earth System components; and
Allows for simulating ocean and climate processes in the past, present and future using a hierarchy of physical-biogeochemical models

Series: International Geophysics Series Volume: 103

By: Gerold Siedler (Editor), Stephen Griffies (Editor), John Gould (Editor), John Church (Editor)

904 pages, colour illustrations

Academic Press

Hardback | Nov 2013 | Edition: 2 | #210531 | ISBN-13: 9780123918512
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1 week Details
NHBS Price: £94.99 $116/€107 approx

About this book

Ocean Circulation and Climate represents all the knowledge we currently have on ocean circulation. It presents an up-to-date summary of the state of the science relating to the role of the oceans in the physical climate system. Ocean Circulation and Climate is structured to guide the reader through the wide range of world ocean circulation experiment (WOCE) science in a consistent way. Cross-references between contributors have been added, and the book has a comprehensive index and unified reference list. Ocean Circulation and Climate is simple to read, at the undergraduate level. It was written by the best scientists in the world who have collaborated to carry out years of experiments to better understand ocean circulation.

"A new book summarizing much of what we know about oceans and the role they play in shaping our Earth's climate was just published. For researchers like myself, we often become fixated with learning the newest facts or reading the latest studies in our fields. Every so often, however, it is necessary to take a step back and provide a retrospective look at how our knowledge has developed with time. Such a retrospective was just provided by some of the world's most qualified oceanographers. It is an update to a legendary text that was first printed in 2001.

This is the second edition of Ocean Circulation and Climate: Observing and Modelling the Global Ocean published in 2001 at the end of the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE). During the 1990s WOCE built on the availability of a new generation of altimeter satellites and carried out the first global scale study of the role of the oceans and their circulation in earth's climate. WOCE's primary objective was "to develop models useful for predicting climate change and to collect the data necessary to test them".

Since WOCE there has been enormous further progress both on ocean observations and modeling. The Argo array of profiling floats (a technological development started during WOCE) now routinely monitors the temperature and salinity of the upper ocean. The series of altimeter satellites continues. These strands now allow a better understanding of the inherent variability of the ocean not available in 2001. In parallel, the relentless increase in computational power permits better representation of crucial ocean processes. The new book has been produced simultaneously with the preparation of the 2013 IPCC WG1 5th assessment report and provides useful and up-to-date background on ocean-related issues central to the IPCC's assessment.

The remarkable progress in this area of ocean science since the turn of the century means that many of our present-day modeling and observational capabilities could only have been dreamed about in the 1990s. Thus the book, subtitled "A 21st Century Perspective", is both timely and important. It contains 31 chapters that span the present state of knowledge. The 78 authors provide a truly international perspective as recognized experts in their respective fields. Eight were also authors of the IPCC WG1 AR5, which was released this fall, including Thomas Stocker (Chairman of WG1) who wrote the first chapter, "The Oceans as a Component of the Climate System".

Three of the editors, Gerold Siedler (Germany), John Gould (UK) and John Church (Australia), were editors of the first edition and were joined by Stephen Griffies (USA) to provide additional expertise on modeling. All are internationally recognized experts in their respective fields.

The introduction provides a great justification for the text,

Were it not for the ocean's ability to absorb substantial amounts of heat and carbon, the effects of worldwide anthropogenic climate change would be much larger. The ocean is therefore already an important mitigating element in the Earth System

As a part-time ocean scientist myself, and a self-described ocean nerd, this may be the first item on my Christmas list."

- John Abraham, The Guardian, 22-11-2013

Related titles

See the previous edition

Ocean Circulation and Climate

Includes analysis, interpretation, modelling and synthesis of all data...

NHBS Price: £87.00 $106/€98 approx


Part I: The oceans’ role in the climate system
1 The ocean as a component of the climate system, Thomas Stocker
2 Paleoclimatic ocean circulation and sea level changes, Stefan Rahmstorf and Georg Feulner

Part II: Ocean observations
3 In-situ ocean observations: A brief history, present status and future directions, John Gould et al.
4 Remote sensing of the global ocean circulation, Lee-Lueng Fu and Rosemary Morrow

Part III: Ocean processes
5 Exchanges through the ocean surface, Simon Josey et al. 
6 Thermodynamics of seawater, Trevor McDougall et al.
7 Diapycnal mixing processes in the ocean interior, Jennifer MacKinnon et al. 
8 Lateral transport in the ocean interior, Baylor Fox-Kemper et al.
9 Global distribution and formation of mode waters, Kevin Speer and Gael Forget
10 Deep water formation, John Bullister et al.

Part IV: Ocean circulation and water masses
11 Conceptual models of the wind-driven and thermohaline circulation, Sybren Drijfhout et al.
12 Ocean surface circulation, Nikolai Maximenko et al. 
13 Western boundary currents, Shiro Imawaki et al.
14 Currents and processes along the eastern boundaries, Ted Strub et al.
15 The tropical ocean circulation and dynamics, Swadhin K. Behera et al.
16 The marine cryosphere, David Holland
17 The Arctic and subarctic oceans/seas, Cecilie Mauritzen et al.
18 Dynamics of the Southern Ocean circulation, Steve Rintoul and Alberto Naveira
19 Inter-ocean and inter-basin exchanges, Janet Sprintall et al.

Part V: Modeling the ocean climate system
20 Ocean circulation models and modeling, Stephen Griffies and Anne-Marie Treguier
21 Dynamically and kinematically consistent global ocean circulation and ice state estimates, Carl Wunsch and Patrick Heimbach
22 Methods and applications of ocean synthesis in climate research, Andreas Schiller et al. 
23 Coupled models and climate projections, Peter Gent
24 The oceans’ role in modeling and predicting seasonal-to-interannual climate variations, Ben Kirtman et al.
25 The oceans’ role in modeling and predicting decadal climate variations, Mojib Latif
26 Modeling ocean biogeochemical processes and resulting tracer distributions, Christoph Heinze and Marion Gehlen

Part VI: The changing ocean
27 Sea-level and ocean heat-content change, John Church et al.
28 Long-term salinity changes and implications for the global water cycle, Paul Durack et al.
29 Ocean heat transport, Alison Macdonald and Molly Baringer
30 The marine carbon cycle and ocean carbon inventories, Toste Tanhua et al.
31 Marine ecosystems, biogeochemistry, and climate, Scott Doney

Write a review

There are currently no reviews for this product. Be the first to review this product!


John Church is a physical oceanographer with particular interest in the role of the ocean in climate change and variability. He is leader of the Southern Ocean Project of the Antarctic Cooperative Research Centre and CSIRO Marine Research's Oceans and Climate Program in Hobart, Australia. He has been active in national and international leadership in ocean climate research.

Bestsellers in this subject

Ocean Worlds

Clearance price: £12.99 £19.99 (Save £7.00) $16/€15 approx

The Atlas of Coasts and Oceans

NHBS Price: £16.99 $21/€19 approx

World Ocean Census

Clearance price: £7.50 £29.99 (Save £22.49) $9/€8 approx

Discovering The Deep

NHBS Price: £61.99 $76/€70 approx