© 2017

Air and Water

Trade Winds, Hurricanes, Gulf Stream, Tsunamis and Other Striking Phenomena

  • Treats atmospheric structure and circulation

  • Includes films and videos on a separate website

  • Includes key principles of atmospheric depressions, hurricanes and tornadoes

  • Contains an explained description of the global oceanic circulation

  • Includes guiding ideas on wave formation and evolution

  • Explains why and how airplanes fly in spite of their huge weight

  • Explains why meteorologists cannot look beyond a ten-day forecast


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XVI
  2. René Moreau
    Pages 5-30
  3. René Moreau
    Pages 33-67
  4. René Moreau
    Pages 69-97
  5. René Moreau
    Pages 99-115
  6. René Moreau
    Pages 117-138
  7. René Moreau
    Pages 141-163
  8. René Moreau
    Pages 165-181
  9. René Moreau
    Pages 183-207
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 209-269

About this book


Air and water are so familiar that we all think we know them. Yet how difficult it remains to predict their behavior, with so many questions butting against the limits of our knowledge. How are cyclones, tornadoes, thunderstorms, tsunamis or floods generated — sometimes causing devastation and death? What will the weather be tomorrow, next week, next summer? This book brings some answers to these questions with a strategy of describing before explaining. Starting by considering air and water in equilibrium (i.e., at rest), it progresses to discuss dynamic phenomena first focusing on large scale structures, such as El Niño or trade winds, then on ever smaller structures, such as low-pressure zones in the atmosphere, clouds, rain, as well as tides and waves. It finishes by describing man-mad

e constructions (dams, ports, power plants, etc.) that serve to domesticate our water resources and put them to work for us. 

Including over one hundred illustrations and very few equations, most of the text is accessible to readers with no more than high-school science and who are at ease with quantities such as the temperature of a fluid or the pressure within such a medium. Beyond the primary audience of engineers, teachers, and students, the book is thus also addressed to walkers, hikers, navigators, and all nature lovers. 



Atmospheric Motions Meteorology Ocean Circulation Storms and Hurricanes Tides and Waves

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Grenoble Institute of TechnologyLaboratory of Science, Engineering, Materials and Processes (SIMAP), Grenoble Institute of TechnologyGrenobleFrance

About the authors

René Moreau is emeritus professor at Grenoble Institute of Technology, a member of the French Academy of Sciences, and a member of the French Academy of Technology. He is a recognized specialist in the field of fluid mechanics, notably in magnetohydrodynamics, and the author of several books and more than 150 other publications on these subjects. This book was born of his desire to share his love of nature and of his wonderment of the phenomena it displays. As he says in the prologue: In essence, I hope to give the reader feeling that I am telling a beautiful story and of transmitting a sense of my awe and wonder of it all.

From 1990 until 2012 he was the Series Editor of the Fluid Mechanics and Its Applications Bookseries,

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors


“Moreau (emer., Grenoble Institute of Technology, France) has produced a wide-ranging overview of the world’s atmosphere and waters, and of issues and phenomena pertaining to them. … book includes many helpful color photos, charts, graphs, and drawings, as well as an extensive glossary. Summing Up: Recommended. …Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals.” (A. C. Prendergast, Choice, Vol. 56 (2), October, 2018)