In preparation for a more comprehensive study, the present paper develops a picture of steady global ocean circulation as it would appear if the ocean were driven by only the wind stress at the surface. The spherical geometry is retained, but bottom topography is neglected and the lateral boundaries of the different basins are segments of parallels of longitude or latitude. The observed zonal wind stress is zonally averaged for each basin, and the stratification is represented by two homogeneous layers that are dynamically uncoupled; i.e., there is no stress transfer across the interface or thermocline....