Ocean Circulation and Climate

A 21st century perspective

Edited by

  • Gerold Siedler, Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Kiel, Germany
  • Stephen Griffies, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, NJ, USA
  • John Gould, Southampton Oceanography Centre, Southampton, U.K.
  • John Church, Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, a Partnership between CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology, Hobart, Australia

The second edition of Ocean Circulation and Climate is an up-to-date summary of the state of the science relating to the role of the oceans in the physical climate system. The book is structured to guide the reader through the analysis, interpretation, modeling, and synthesis of ocean climate phenomena, with extensive cross-referencing between chapters and a comprehensive index.

This book will be of value to those interested in the global oceans, in climate variability and change, and in the oceanic uptake of anthropogenic carbon, particularly oceanographers, meteorologists, and other climate scientists.

View full description


Graduate students, practitioners, researchers in oceanographic fields, atmospheric and meteorological studies.


Book information

  • Published: November 2013
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-391851-2


"The introduction of the book summarizes the role of ocean in the present climate system and in the earlier paleoclimate state. After a discussion of current observational methods, new results are given on physical processes in the ocean… Because of the increasing importance of models for the understanding and prediction of ocean and climate change, a large part of the book deals with modeling and the results on long-term changes."--Geomar online, November 25, 2013
"Ocean Circulation and Climate belongs on every climate geek's holiday wish list…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."--TheGuardian.com, November 22, 2013
"Ocean Circulation and Climate is the culmination of a multi-national, multi-decadal program designed to observe the global ocean. ...a voluminous book, unique in that there is no other single volume to which one can turn as a source for the cutting edge of knowledge of the large-scale circulation and properties of the ocean. ...lays the foundation for the daunting challenge of understanding the future of the world oceans and their role in climate change."--EPISODES - JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL GEOSCIENCE
"...excellent editing and production quality plus hundreds of diagrams and dozens of color plates. It will be essential for ocean and climate scientists for years to come."--NEW SCIENTIST, October 2001

Table of Contents

Part I: The oceans’ role in the climate system
1 The ocean as a component of the climate system, Thomas F. 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 A. Josey et al. 
6 Thermodynamics of seawater, Trevor J. 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 Deepwater formation, John L. Bullister et al.
Part IV: Ocean circulation and water masses
11 Conceptual models of the wind-driven and thermohaline circulation, Sybren S. 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, P. Ted Strub et al.
15 The tropical ocean circulation and dynamics, Swadhin Behera et al.
16 The marine cryosphere, David M. Holland
17 The Arctic and subarctic oceans/seas, Cecilie Mauritzen et al.
18 Dynamics of the Southern Ocean circulation, Stephen R. Rintoul and Alberto C. Naveira Garabato
19 Interocean and interbasin exchanges, Janet Sprintall et al.
Part V: Modeling the ocean climate system
20 Ocean circulation models and modeling, Stephen M. 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 R. Gent
24 The oceans’ role in modeling and predicting seasonal-to-interannual climate variations, Ben P. 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 A. Church et al.
28 Long-term salinity changes and implications for the global water cycle, Paul J. 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 C. Doney