Principles of Environmental Physics

Principles of Environmental Physics

Plants, Animals, and the Atmosphere

4th Edition - July 26, 2013

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  • Authors: John Monteith, Mike Unsworth
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780123869104
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123869937

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Principles of Environmental Physics: Plants, Animals, and the Atmosphere, 4e, provides a basis for understanding the complex physical interactions of plants and animals with their natural environment. It is the essential reference to provide environmental and ecological scientists and researchers with the physical principles, analytic tools, and data analysis methods they need to solve problems. This book describes the principles by which radiative energy reaches the earth’s surface and reviews the latest knowledge concerning the surface radiation budget. The processes of radiation, convection, conduction, evaporation, and carbon dioxide exchange are analyzed. Many applications of environmental physics principles are reviewed, including the roles of surface albedo and atmospheric aerosols in modifying microclimate and climate, remote sensing of vegetation properties, wind forces on trees and crops, dispersion of pathogens and aerosols, controls of evaporation from vegetation and soil (including implications of changing weather and climate), and interpretation of micrometeorological measurements of carbon dioxide and other trace gas fluxes.

Key Features

  • Presents a unique synthesis of micrometeorology and ecology in its widest sense
  • Deals quantitatively with the impact of weather on living systems but also with the interactions between organisms and the atmosphere that are a central feature of life on earth
  • Offers numerous worked examples and problems with solutions
  • Provides many examples of laboratory and field measurements and their interpretation
  • Includes an up-to-date bibliography and review of recent micrometeorological applications in forestry, ecology, hydrology, and agriculture


Advanced undergraduate and graduate students in university departments of physics, atmospheric sciences, biological and environmental sciences, research scientists in agriculture, forestry, hydrology and ecology in academia, government research and industry, natural resource managers, environmental consultants and advisers in non-governmental organizations.

Table of Contents

  • Preface to the Fourth Edition

    Preface to the Third Edition



    Roman Alphabet

    Greek Alphabet

    Non-Dimensional Groups


    Chapter 1. The Scope of Environmental Physics

    Chapter 2. Properties of Gases and Liquids

    2.1 Gases and Water Vapor

    2.2 Liquid

    2.3 Stable Isotopes

    2.4 Problems


    Chapter 3. Transport of Heat, Mass, and Momentum

    3.1 General Transfer Equation

    3.2 Molecular Transfer Processes

    3.3 Diffusion Coefficients

    3.4 Diffusion of Particles (Brownian Motion)

    3.5 Problems


    Chapter 4. Transport of Radiant Energy

    4.1 The Origin and Nature of Radiation

    4.2 Spatial Relations

    4.3 Problems


    Chapter 5. Radiation Environment

    5.1 Solar Radiation

    5.2 Attenuation of Solar Radiation in the Atmosphere

    5.3 Solar Radiation at the Ground

    5.4 Terrestrial Radiation

    5.5 Net Radiation

    5.6 Problems


    Chapter 6. Microclimatology of Radiation: (i) Radiative Properties of Natural Materials

    6.1 Radiative Properties of Natural Materials

    6.2 Problems


    Chapter 7. Microclimatology of Radiation: (ii) Radiation Interception by Solid Structures

    7.1 Geometric Principles

    7.2 Problems


    Chapter 8. Microclimatology of Radiation: (iii) Interception by Plant Canopies and Animal Coats

    8.1 Interception of Radiation by Plant Canopies

    8.2 Interception of Radiation by Animal Coats

    8.3 Net Radiation

    8.4 Problems


    Chapter 9. Momentum Transfer

    9.1 Boundary Layers

    9.2 Momentum Transfer to Natural Surfaces

    9.3 Lodging and Windthrow

    9.4 Problems


    Chapter 10. Heat Transfer

    10.1 Convection

    10.2 Measurements of Convection

    10.3 Conduction

    10.4 Insulation

    10.5 Problems


    Chapter 11. Mass Transfer: (i) Gases and Water Vapor

    11.1 Non-Dimensional Groups

    11.2 Measurements of Mass Transfer

    11.3 Ventilation

    11.4 Mass Transfer Through Pores

    11.5 Mass Transfer through Coats and Clothing

    11.6 Problems


    Chapter 12. Mass Transfer: (ii) Particles

    12.1 Steady Motion

    12.2 Non-Steady Motion

    12.3 Particle Deposition and Transport

    12.4 Problems


    Chapter 13. Steady-State Heat Balance: (i) Water Surfaces, Soil, and Vegetation

    13.1 Heat Balance Equation

    13.2 Heat Balance of Thermometers

    13.3 Heat Balance of Surfaces

    13.4 Developments From the Penman and Penman-Monteith Equations

    13.5 Problems


    Chapter 14. Steady-State Heat Balance: (ii) Animals

    14.1 Heat Balance Components

    14.2 The Thermo-Neutral Diagram

    14.3 Specification of the Environment—The Effective Temperature

    14.4 Case Studies

    14.5 Problems


    Chapter 15. Transient Heat Balance

    15.1 Time Constant

    15.2 General Cases

    15.3 Heat Flow in Soil

    15.4 Problems


    Chapter 16. Micrometeorology: (i) Turbulent Transfer, Profiles, and Fluxes

    16.1 Turbulent Transfer

    16.2 Flux-Gradient Methods

    16.3 Methods for Indirect Measurements of Flux Above Canopies

    16.4 Relative Merits of Methods of Flux Measurement

    16.5 Turbulent Transfer in Canopies

    16.6 Density Corrections to Flux Measurements

    16.7 Problems


    Chapter 17. Micrometeorology: (ii) Interpretation of Flux Measurements

    17.1 Resistance Analogs

    17.2 Case Studies

    17.3 Measurement and Modeling of Transport within Canopies

    17.4 Problems




    General Text Books


    Solutions to Selected Problems


Product details

  • No. of pages: 422
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2013
  • Published: July 26, 2013
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780123869104
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123869937

About the Authors

John Monteith

John Monteith

Affiliations and Expertise

Emeritus Professor of Environmental Physics, University of Nottingham, UK

Mike Unsworth

Mike Unsworth
Michael Unsworth is Professor Emeritus of Physics of Oceans and Atmospheres at Oregon State University. He has also been a Visiting Professor at the University of Southampton and the NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. Before his tenure at Oregon State University, he was Professor and ultimately Dean of the Faulty of Agricultural and Food Sciences at Nottingham University. He has also served as Head of Station and the NERC Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, Edinburgh Research Station and Director at the Center for Analysis of Environmental Change. His work specializes in environmental physics, microclimatology, and agricultural and forest meteorology. He has published numerous journal articles, book chapters, and books on these topics over his prolific career of more than 50 years.

Affiliations and Expertise

Oregon State University, Corvallis, USA Michael Unsworth is Professor Emeritus of Physics of Oceans and Atmospheres at Oregon State University.

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