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Principles of Atmospheric Science

Author(s): John E. Frederick, PhD, Professor, The University of Chicago
  • ISBN-13: 9780763740894
  • ISBN-10:0763740896
  • Paperback    211 pages      © 2008
Price: $98.95 US List
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The state of the atmosphere influences the activities of modern society and the quality of life, which is evident in agricultural productivity, the health impact of exposure to gases, particles, and sunlight, and property damage associated with severe weather events.  Principles of Atmospheric Science provides a comprehensive introduction to the physics and chemistry of atmospheric science for undergraduate students in the physical sciences, as well as those seeking to understand how physics and chemistry manifest themselves in the atmospheric environment.  The text presents these topics as an application of fundamental scientific principles meshed with observation.   The author identifies the fundamental concepts and principles, presenting students with a "big picture" approach to this fascinating field.  Principles of Atmospheric Science will leave students with a firm grasp of the basic science that underlies the Earth's climate system.


Features & Benefits

The text makes solid connection between basic physics, chemistry and the observable properties of the atmosphere.

Chapter 2 maps out the fundamental science that govern the temperature of the atmosphere, including the radiation balance and the greenhouse effect.

Chapter 5 describes the absorption of ultraviolet sunlight by the atmosphere and shows how it leads to the formation of the ozone layer.  The chapter includes a discussion of the link between human  activities and ozone loss in the upper atmosphere.

Chapter 3 shows how the unique properties of the water molecule influence the climate system.

Applicable Courses

Atmospheric Science courses that emphasize physics and chemistry, offered at the undergraduate level, within the departments of Atmospheric Science, Meteorology, Earth Science, Physics, Environmental Engineering, etc.

1.  Chemical Composition and Structure
     1.1  Major Gases and Trace Gases
     1.2  Atmospheric Evolution: A Brief Overview
     1.3  The State of the Atmosphere
     1.4  Temperature: Definition and Altitude Dependence
     1.5  Temperature:  Nomenclature and Physical Mechanisms
     1.6  Gravity
     1.7  Atmospheric Density and Pressure
     1.8  The Ideal Gas Law
     1.9  Hydrostatic Balance
     1.10 Review Topic: Units and Systems of Measurement
     1.11 Exercises
     1.12 References

2.  Solar and Terrestrial Radiation: The Atmospheric Energy
     2.1  Conceptual Models for Light
     2.2  The Sun
     2.3  The Solar Constant
     2.4  The Budget of Solar Radiation
     2.5  Terrestrial Radiation
     2.6  The Radiative Energy Balance
     2.7  The Greenhouse Effect: A Simplified Model
     2.8  The Atmospheric Energy Balance:  Some Complications
     2.9  Latitudinal Dependence of Heating and Cooling: The Seasonal Cycle
     2.10 Exercises
     2.11 References

3.  Atmospheric Water
     3.1  Water on Earth and in the Atmosphere
     3.2  The Phases of Water
     3.3  The Physical Basis of Saturation
     3.4  Latent Heats
     3.5  Saturation Vapor Pressure - A Quantitative Expression
     3.6  Cloud Formation and Cloud Types
     3.7  The Tropospheric Lapse Rate
     3.8  Vertical Motions, Stable Air and Unstable Air
     3.9  Condensation Nuclei and the Formation of Precipitation
     3.10 The Global Water Cycle
     3.11 Exercises
     3.12 References

4.  Winds - The Global Circulation and Weather Systems
     4.1  Wind Systems in the Earth's Atmosphere
     4.2  Forces that Drive the Winds
     4.3  The Pressure Gradient Force
     4.4  The Coriolis Force
     4.5  The Centrifugal Force
     4.6  Friction
     4.7  Several Forces Acting Simultaneously
     4.8  Observed Winds
     4.9  Exercises
     4.10 References

5.  Chemical Processes and Atmospheric Ozone
     5.1  Atmospheric Chemistry - An Overview
     5.2  Absorption of Solar Radiation - The Photodissociation Rate
     5.3  Atmospheric Ozone
     5.4  Chemistry in a Pure Oxygen Atmosphere
     5.5  Chemical Processes Involving Chlorine
     5.6  The Excited Oxygen Atom, O(1D)
     5.7  Chemical Processes Involving Nitrogen
     5.8  The Antarctic Ozone Hole
     5.9  Chemical Processes in the Troposphere
     5.10 Primary Pollutants in the Troposphere
     5.11 The Formation of Ozone in Urban Areas
     5.12 Exercises
     5.13 References

6.  The Earth's Climate
     6.1  A Definition of Climate
     6.2  Climate over Geological Time Scales: 4.6 Billion to 1.8 Million Years Ago
     6.3  Climate over the Past 1.8 Million Years
     6.4  Mechanisms of Climate Change: An Overview
     6.5  Changes in Solar Luminosity and the Solar Constant
     6.6  Changes in the Earth's Orbit and Orientation
     6.7  Changes on Land and in the Atmosphere
     6.8  References

John E. Frederick, PhD-Professor, The University of Chicago

John Frederick received his PhD. in Astro-Geophysics from the University of Colorado at Boulder, specializing in the physics and chemistry of the Earth's upper atmosphere. He performed research at the of Michigan and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center prior to accepting an appointment as Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Chicago in 1985. Professor Frederick has guided research by students in areas of radiative transfer, atmospheric chemistry and atmospheric energetics, with a specialty in studies related to the sun's ultraviolet radiation, and he has authored more than one hundred professional papers.

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ISBN-13: 9780763740894

Answers to In-Text Questions
Slides in PowerPoint Format
Test Bank