The Physics of Atmospheres

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, Mar 14, 2002 - Nature - 320 pages
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In this new edition John Houghton has revised his acclaimed textbook to bring it completely up-to-date. The book provides a comprehensive and concise description of the physical processes governing the atmosphere. New chapters have been introduced on topics of strong contemporary interest and other chapters have been substantially extended. Like the previous editions, this is an essential textbook for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in meteorology, atmospheric physics, remote sensing, climatology, environmental science, and planetary science. Specialists in atmospheric physics and meteorology will also find it an excellent state-of-the-art review.
  

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Contents

Some basic ideas
1
13 Hydrostatic equation
3
14 Adiabatic lapse rate
4
15 Sandstroms theorem
5
Problems
7
A radiative equilibrium model
9
22 Absorption and emission
10
23 Radiative equilibrium in a grey atmosphere
12
102 A symmetric circulation
147
103 Inertial instability
152
104 Barotropic instability
153
105 Baroclinic instability
154
106 Sloping convection
158
107 Energy transport
159
108 Transport of angular momentum
161
109 The general circulation of the middle atmosphere
162

24 Radiative time constants
15
Problems
17
Thermodynamics
19
32 Vertical motion of saturated air
20
33 The tephigram
22
34 Total potential energy of an air column
24
36 Zonal and eddy energy
29
Problems
30
More complex radiation transfer
39
42 Absorption of solar radiation by ozone
40
43 Absorption by single lines
41
44 Transmission of an atmospheric path
44
45 The integral equation of transfer
45
46 Integration over frequency
47
47 Heating rate due to radiative processes
48
49 Band models
49
410 Continuum absorption
50
Problems
52
The middle and upper atmospheres
58
52 Diffusive separation
60
53 The escape of hydrogen
61
54 The energy balance of the thermosphere
65
55 The photodissociation of oxygen
66
56 Photochemical processes
67
57 Breakdown of thermodynamic equilibrium
72
Problems
78
Clouds
82
62 The growth of cloud particles
83
63 The radiative properties of clouds
84
64 Radiative transfer in clouds
86
65 Cloud radiation feedback
88
Problems
89
Dynamics
93
72 Equations of motion
94
73 The geostrophic approximation
97
74 Cyclostrophic motion
98
75 Surfaces of constant pressure
99
76 The thermal wind equation
100
77 The equation of continuity
101
Problems
102
Atmospheric waves
110
83 Gravity waves
111
84 Rossby waves
116
85 The vorticity equation
118
86 Threedimensional Rossbytype waves
120
Problems
122
Turbulence
131
92 Reynolds stresses
132
93 Ekmans solution
134
94 The mixinglength hypothesis
136
95 Ekman pumping
137
96 The spectrum of atmospheric turbulence
138
Problems
141
The general circulation
145
Problems
168
Numerical modelling
173
112 Baroclinic models
174
113 Primitive equation models
176
114 Parametrizations
177
116 Inclusion of orography
180
118 Sub grid scale processes
185
119 Moist processes and clouds
186
1110 Convection
187
1111 Transfer across the surface
189
1112 Forecast model skill
190
Problems
192
Global observation
198
122 In situ observations
199
124 Radar and lidar observations from the surface
200
125 Remote sounding from satellites
201
theory
204
127 Instruments for remote temperature sounding
210
I
215
129 Other remote sounding observations from space
220
1210 Observations from remote platforms
221
Problems
224
Chaos and atmospheric predictability
229
132 The Lorenz attractor
230
133 Model predictability
231
134 Variations in forecast skill
234
136 Model improvements
236
137 Jupiters Great Red Spot
238
Problems
240
Climate and climate change
242
142 Variations of climate over the past millennium
243
143 The ice ages
246
144 Influence of the ocean boundary
248
145 Human influences on climate
250
146 The enhanced greenhouse effect
255
147 Feedback processes
260
148 Modelling climate change
262
149 Observations of climate
265
1410 Dynamical response to external forcing
266
1411 The impacts of climate change
269
Problems
270
Appendices
275
2 Properties of water vapour
276
3 Atmospheric composition
277
4 Relation of geopotential to geometric height
278
6 Mean reference atmosphere 110500 km
287
8 Solar radiation
289
9 Absorption by ozone in the ultraviolet
290
Further reading
299
References to works cited in the text
301
Answers to problems and hints to their solution
307
Index
313
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Sir John Houghton CBE, FRS is a former Chairman of the Scientific Assessment Working Group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Chairman of the UK's Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, Vice President of the World Meteorological Organisation, President of the Royal Meteorological Society, and Professor of Atmospheric Physics at Oxford University. He was Chief Executive of the UK Meteorological Office from 1983 to his retirement in 1991. As well as the previous editions of this book, he is author of The Physics of Atmospheres (Cambridge University Press, in three editions), and has published numerous research papers and contributed to many influential research documents. Sir John and his wife Sheila live in Wales.

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