The Atmosphere, the Oceans, Climate, and Ecosystem Services

14 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2008 Last revised: 3 Feb 2013

See all articles by Robin Kundis Craig

Robin Kundis Craig

University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law

Date Written: December 15, 2008


Climate is perhaps most easily understood as the results of the atmosphere's and the oceans' combined efforts to redistribute heat from the Earth's equator to the poles. What happens at the atmosphere-ocean interface, therefore, is critical to climate, climate change, and the ecosystem services provided by every ecosystem on Earth.

This chapter has been submitted for inclusion in William H. Rodgers' forthcoming 'Climate Change Reader'. It reviews the basic processes of the atmosphere and the oceans, emphasizing their roles in climate regulation and other ecosystem services and paying particular attention to atmospheric-oceanic interactions. It concludes with a summary of how changes in these interactions both contribute to climate change effects and disrupt ecosystems and their services worldwide.

Keywords: climate change, global warming, ocean, atmosphere, ecosystem, ecosystem services, currents, thermohaline, greenhouse

Suggested Citation

Craig, Robin Kundis, The Atmosphere, the Oceans, Climate, and Ecosystem Services (December 15, 2008). CLIMATE CHANGE READER, William H. Rodgers, ed., 2009, FSU College of Law, Public Law Research Paper Series, FSU College of Law, Law, Business & Economics Working Paper Series, Available at SSRN:

Robin Kundis Craig (Contact Author)

University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )

383 South University St.
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States
801-585-5228 (Phone)

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