The Atmospheric Environment: Effects of Human Activity

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Princeton University Press, 2002 - Nature - 326 pages
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This comprehensive introduction to the physics and chemistry of Earth's atmosphere explains the science behind some of the most critical and intensely debated environmental controversies of our day. In it, one of the world's leading experts on planetary environments presents the background necessary to assess the complex effects of human activity on our atmosphere and climate.


Unique in its breadth and depth of coverage, The Atmospheric Environment includes a survey of Earth's climatic history to provide a context for assessing the changes underway today. It is written for--and will be of lasting value to--a varied audience, including not only students but also professional scientists and others seeking a sophisticated but readable introduction to the frontiers of contemporary research on biogeochemistry, depletion of stratospheric ozone, tropospheric air pollution, and climatology.


The book covers both the chemistry and physics of the atmosphere with an account of relevant aspects of ocean science, treats atmospheric science and the climate as an integrated whole, and makes explicit the policy implications of what is known. Its critical account of steps taken by the international community to address the issue of climatic change highlights the challenge of dealing with a global issue for which the political and economic stakes are high, where uncertainties are common, and where there is an urgent need for clear thinking and informed policy. The book also sketches key gaps in our knowledge, outlining where we need to go to fully understand the impact of our actions on the climate.


Thorough, timely, and authoritative, this is the book to consult for answers about some of the thorniest and most pressing environmental questions that we face.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Basic Physical Concepts
5
Basic Chemical Concepts
19
Properties of Water
31
Atmospheric History and Composition
39
Energy Budget of the Atmosphere
51
Vertical Structure of the Atmosphere
63
Horizontal Motion of the Atmosphere
79
Stratospheric Ozone II The Role of Radicals
189
Stratospheric Ozone III Influence of Heterogeneous Chemistry
205
Stratospheric Ozone IV Influence of Dynamics
221
The Chemistry of the Troposphere
231
The Chemistry of Precipitation
263
Prospects for Climate Change
277
Policy Responses to Climate Change
285
Notes
291

Dynamics of the Ocean
103
Climate through the Ages
113
The Carbon Cycle
141
Cycles of Nitrogen Phosphorus and Sulfur
165
Stratospheric Ozone I Chapmans Formulation for the Chemistry of an OxygenNitrogen Atmosphere
175
References
309
Appendix
317
Index
319
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