Atmospheric Science

Atmospheric Science

An Introductory Survey

2nd Edition - February 1, 2006

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  • Authors: John Wallace, Peter Hobbs
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080499536
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780127329512

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Atmospheric Science, Second Edition, is the long-awaited update of the classic atmospheric science text, which helped define the field nearly 30 years ago and has served as the cornerstone for most university curricula. Now students and professionals alike can use this updated classic to understand atmospheric phenomena in the context of the latest discoveries, and prepare themselves for more advanced study and real-life problem solving. This latest edition of Atmospheric Science, has been revamped in terms of content and appearance. It contains new chapters on atmospheric chemistry, the Earth system, the atmospheric boundary layer, and climate, as well as enhanced treatment of atmospheric dynamics, radiative transfer, severe storms, and global warming. The authors illustrate concepts with full-color, state-of-the-art imagery and cover a vast amount of new information in the field. Extensive numerical and qualitative exercises help students apply basic physical principles to atmospheric problems. There are also biographical footnotes summarizing the work of key scientists, along with a student companion website that hosts climate data; answers to quantitative exercises; full solutions to selected exercises; skew-T log p chart; related links, appendices; and more. The instructor website features: instructor’s guide; solutions to quantitative exercises; electronic figures from the book; plus supplementary images for use in classroom presentations. Meteorology students at both advanced undergraduate and graduate levels will find this book extremely useful.

Key Features

  • Full-color satellite imagery and cloud photographs illustrate principles throughout
  • Extensive numerical and qualitative exercises emphasize the application of basic physical principles to problems in the atmospheric sciences
  • Biographical footnotes summarize the lives and work of scientists mentioned in the text, and provide students with a sense of the long history of meteorology
  • Companion website encourages more advanced exploration of text topics: supplementary information, images, and bonus exercises


Meteorology students (advanced undergraduate and graduate levels)

Table of Contents

  • In Memory of Peter V. Hobbs 1936–2005)

    Preface to the Second Edition

    Preface to the First Edition

    1. Introduction and Overview

    1.1 Scope of the Subject and Recent Highlights

    1.2 Some Definitions and Terms of Reference

    1.3 A Brief Survey of the Atmosphere

    1.4 What’s Next?

    2. The Earth System

    2.1 Components of the Earth System

    2.2 The Hydrologic Cycle

    2.3 The Carbon Cycle

    2.4 Oxygen in the Earth System

    2.5 A Brief History of Climate and the Earth System

    2.6 Earth: The Habitable Planet

    3. Atmospheric Thermodynamics

    3.1 Gas Laws

    3.2 The Hydrostatic Equation

    3.3 The First Law of Thermodynamics15

    3.4 Adiabatic Processes

    3.5 Water Vapor in Air

    3.6 Static Stability

    3.7 The Second Law of Thermodynamics and Entropy

    4. Radiative Transfer

    4.1 The Spectrum of Radiation

    4.2 Quantitative Description of Radiation

    4.3 Blackbody Radiation

    4.4 Physics of Scattering and Absorption and Emission

    4.5 Radiative Transfer in Planetary Atmospheres

    4.6 Radiation Balance at the Top of the Atmosphere


    5. Atmospheric Chemistry

    5.1 Composition of Tropospheric Air

    5.2 Sources, Transport, and Sinks of Trace Gases

    5.3 Some Important Tropospheric Trace Gases

    5.4 Tropospheric Aerosols

    5.5 Air Pollution

    5.6 Tropospheric Chemical Cycles

    5.7 Stratospheric Chemistry

    6. Cloud Microphysics

    6.1 Nucleation of Water Vapor Condensation

    6.2 Microstructures of Warm Clouds

    6.3 Cloud Liquid Water Content and Entrainment

    6.4 Growth of Cloud Droplets in Warm Clouds

    6.5 Microphysics of Cold Clouds

    6.6 Artificial Modification of Clouds and Precipitation

    6.7 Thunderstorm Electrification

    6.8 Cloud and Precipitation Chemistry48

    7. Atmospheric Dynamics

    7.1 Kinematics of the Large-Scale Horizontal Flow

    7.2 Dynamics of Horizontal Flow

    7.3 Primitive Equations

    7.4 The Atmospheric General Circulation

    7.5 Numerical Weather Prediction


    8. Weather Systems

    8.1 Extratropical Cyclones

    8.2 Orographic Effects

    8.3 Deep Convection

    8.4 Tropical Cyclones

    9. The Atmospheric Boundary Layer

    9.1 Turbulence

    9.2 The Surface Energy Balance

    9.3 Vertical Structure

    9.4 Evolution

    9.5 Special Effects

    9.6 The Boundary Layer in Context


    10. Climate Dynamics

    10.1 The Present-Day Climate

    10.2 Climate Variability

    10.3 Climate Equilibria, Sensitivity, and Feedbacks

    10.4 Greenhouse Warming22

    10.5 Climate Monitoring and Prediction


    Constants and Conversions for Atmospheric Science

    Universal Constants


    Water Substance

    Earth and Sun

    Units and Conversions

    Abbreviations Used in Captions


    International Geophysics Series

Product details

  • No. of pages: 504
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2006
  • Published: February 1, 2006
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080499536
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780127329512

About the Authors

John Wallace

JOHN M. WALLACE was born in New York in 1940. He received his Bachelor's degree from Webb Institute of Naval Architecture and his PhD from MIT, where he worked closely with Professors Victor P. Starr and Reginald E. Newell. He has been a member of the faculty of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington since 1966. He has served terms as department chair, as Director of the Joint Institute of the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, and as Co-director of the University of Washington's Program on the Environment. His research interests include large scale atmospheric dynamics and climate variability and change. He regularly teaches an introductory graduate class in which this textbook is used.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Washington, Seattle, U.S.A.

Peter Hobbs

PETER V. HOBBS was born in London in 1936. He received his doctorate from Imperial College, University of London, where he worked in the research group headed by Sir B. John Mason. He joined the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington in 1963, and served as a faculty member there until his death in 2005. In his role as founder and director of the the Cloud and Aerosol Research Group(CARG) in the department, he acquired and maintained a series of instrumented research aircraft with which he and his staff and students made field measurements of clouds, frontal systems and effluents from fires, volcanoes and industrial sources in many different parts of the world. He was a prolific writer and a devoted instructor and mentor of students. In recognition of his research and teaching contributions he was named an Honorary Member of the American Meteorological Society.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Washington, Seattle, U.S.A.

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  • GuyJanssen Fri Oct 18 2019

    excellent realistic book on AGW

    excellent realistic book on AGW