11R58. Air-Sea Interaction: Laws and Mechanisms. - GT Csanady (Old Dominion Univ, Norfolk VA). Cambridge UP, Cambridge, UK. 2001. 239 pp. (Softcover). ISBN 0-521-79680-6. $95.00.
Reviewed by JL Lumley (Dept of Mech and Aerospace Eng, Cornell Univ, 256 Upson Hall, Ithaca NY 14853-2801).
This book would make a wonderful text for a graduate-level course in air-sea interaction. The style is accessible and friendly, the descriptions very clear, and the figures excellent. Unfortunately, the index is a little sketchy, but it is not a serious problem.
Csanady covers the transfer laws of the air-sea interface, wind waves and the mechanisms of air-sea transfer, mixed layers in contact, hot towers, and the ocean’s warm water sphere.
The transfer laws are treated by Monin-Obukhov similarity theory, and the presentation of wind waves covers the classical work on equilibrium spectra. Turbulence generation by wave breaking is much less well understood, but is clearly presented with good diagrams. The discussion of air-side and water-side gas, heat and vapor flux is excellent. The discussion of air-side and water-side mixed layers and deep convection (hot towers and chimneys) is very clear; in addition to classical material on mixed layers that is easier to deal with analytically, there are wonderful diagrams of the real world—cloud structure, upwelling, thermocline depth, thunderstorms, squall lines, hurricanes, pycnostads (well-mixed boluses of seawater). The warm water sphere discusses the relatively shallow pool of warm water that lies on the surface of the ocean that makes it possible to live in Norway, but not at the corresponding southern latitude, and that is responsible for hurricanes and monsoons. Each chapter begins with a quite general introduction, placing the phenomenon in a global context.
Although, of course, this book will be of most interest to people in meteorology, oceanography and environmental engineering, it also serves as an eye-opening introduction to the complex effects of buoyancy for mechanical engineers who are accustomed to dealing with shear and nothing else. Air-Sea Interaction: Laws and Mechanisms would make a nice addition to the bookshelf of any physical scientist, and should certainly be purchased by libraries of research universities.
This reviewer finds it a little distressing that, at $95, the book is worth nearly $0.40 per page, just under seven times the cost of a photocopy.