Stability in the ocean is based on the density of the water. Density must increase with depth in order for the ocean to be stable. Density is a function of both temperature and salinity, with cold salty water having a higher density than warm fresh water. Temperature and salinity in the ocean can be affected by the atmosphere. Heat can be added to or removed from the ocean, and precipitation and evaporation change the salinity of the ocean. Surface winds also act as a forcing mechanism on the ocean by creating a wind stress forcing which pushes surface waters.
This course explores the physical processes that control Earth's atmosphere, ocean, and climate. Quantitative methods for constructing mass and energy budgets. Topics include clouds, rain, severe storms, regional climate, the ozone layer, air pollution, ocean currents and productivity, the seasons, El Niño, the history of Earth's climate, global warming, energy, and water resources.