FACT: “Earth is a planet with a radius of about 6,000 km, moving around the sun once a year in an orbit that is almost circular, although not precisely so. Its farthest distance from the sun, or aphelion, is about 152 million km, and its closest distance, perihelion, is about 147 million km.”

Climate and the Oceans
by Geoffrey K. Vallis

The oceans exert a vital moderating influence on the Earth’s climate system. They provide inertia to the global climate, essentially acting as the pacemaker of climate variability and change, and they provide heat to high latitudes, keeping them habitable. Climate and the Oceans offers a short, self-contained introduction to the subject. This illustrated primer begins by briefly describing the world’s climate system and ocean circulation and goes on to explain the important ways that the oceans influence climate. Topics covered include the oceans’ effects on the seasons, heat transport between equator and pole, climate variability, and global warming. The book also features a glossary of terms, suggestions for further reading, and easy-to-follow mathematical treatments.

Climate and the Oceans is the first place to turn to get the essential facts about this crucial aspect of the Earth’s climate system. Ideal for students and nonspecialists alike, this primer offers the most concise and up-to-date overview of the subject available.

“Readers interested in understanding how the ocean influences climate have had to choose between journalistic, grossly oversimplified accounts and the very technical professional literature. Geoffrey Vallis has now successfully filled that gap with a clear explanation of the ways in which the ocean is both influenced by and influences global climate.”—Carl Wunsch, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“In this crystal-clear little book, Geoffrey Vallis masterfully explains the basics of physical oceanography and the role of the oceans in the climate system. He writes for those conversant with some university-level mathematics and physics, but whose knowledge of the oceans and climate is limited. The book moves smoothly from fundamental principles to topics of current research interest, including natural climate variability, such as El Niño, and the daunting challenge of man-made climate change, or global warming.”—Richard Somerville, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

We invite you to read Chapter 1 here: