Atmospheric and Ocean Circulations

Satellite photo of Tropical Cyclone Dina near Madagascar.
Tropical Cyclone 10s (Dina), as seen from the Sea-viewing Wide-Field-of-View Sensor (SeaWiFS) onboard the OrbView-2 satellite. Dina is located to the southeast of Madagascar. (Image courtesy of NASA's Visible Earth.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Spring 2004



Cite This Course

Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

In this course, we will look at many important aspects of the circulation of the atmosphere and ocean, from length scales of meters to thousands of km and time scales ranging from seconds to years. We will assume familiarity with concepts covered in course 12.003 (Physics of the Fluid Earth). In the early stages of the present course, we will make somewhat greater use of math than did 12.003, but the math we will use is no more than that encountered in elementary electromagnetic field theory, for example. The focus of the course is on the physics of the phenomena which we will discuss.

Related Content

R. Plumb. 12.333 Atmospheric and Ocean Circulations. Spring 2004. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

For more information about using these materials and the Creative Commons license, see our Terms of Use.