Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-99c86f546-kpmwg Total loading time: 0.22 Render date: 2021-12-02T08:41:54.598Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

3 - The elements of the climate

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

Get access

Summary

I am the daughter of Earth and Water,

And the nursling of the Sky;

I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;

I change, but I cannot die.

Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1792–1822

In understanding what constitutes climate variability and climate change and predicting how each may evolve in the future we need to have a clear idea of which aspects of the climate matter. This is crucial as these fluctuations are not simply a matter of the Earth as a whole warming up or cooling down, or even of certain regional climates (e.g. deserts) expanding or contracting. The physical processes described in Chapter 2 may drive the mechanics of change, but the network of links within the system complicates how they combine with the different components of the climate. The objectives of this chapter are therefore to establish what are the most important components of the climate, and to identify the strongest links between them, so we can have a framework for examining the essential aspects of climate variability and climate change.

The atmosphere and oceans in motion

How the atmosphere and the oceans transfer energy around the globe is the key to climate studies. It is also central to the sciences of meteorology and climatology. There are a lot of more than adequate books on these subjects (see Bibliography) and so many of the physical fundamentals or details of the Earth's climate will not be regurgitated here.

Type
Chapter
Information
Climate Change
A Multidisciplinary Approach
, pp. 36 - 80
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2007

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×