The complex flows in the atmosphere and oceans are believed to be accurately modeled by the Navier-Stokes equations of fluid mechanics together with classical thermodynamics. However, due to the enormous complexity of these equations, meteorologists and oceanographers have constructed approximate models of the dominant, large-scale flows that control the evolution of weather systems and that describe, for example, the dynamics of cyclones and ocean eddies. The simplifications often result in models that are amenable to solution both analytically and numerically. The volume examines and explains why such simplifications to Newton's second law produce accurate, useful models and, just as the meteorologist seeks patterns in the weather, mathematicians seek structure in the governing equations, such as groups of transformations, Hamiltonian structure and stability.
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