Atmospheric and climatological studies are becoming more and more important in day-to-day living. Winds and ocean current owe their existence to the thermodynamic imbalances that arise from the differential heating of the Earth and air by the sun. Accounting for heat exchanges with the atmosphere and ocean is essential in any predictive model of the ocean and/or atmosphere. Thermodynamic feedback processes in the atmosphere and ocean are critical to understanding the overall stability of the Earth's climate and climate change. Water and its phase changes make the thermodynamics of the atmosphere and ocean uniquely interesting and challenging. Written by leading scientists in the field, Thermodynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans incorporates all the relevant information from the varying fields of dynamics meteorology, atmospheric physics and cloud physics, into a comprehensive, self-contained guide ideal for students and researchers of atmospheric thermodynamics. At the moment, courses in atmospheric thermdynamics typically have to use one or two chapters in textbooks on dynamic meteorology, atmospheric physics or cloud physics. This book combines these topics in one text.


Graduate and upper-level undergraduate students with backgrounds in physics, chemistry, mathematics, and engineering who are studying atmospheric science and oceanography.

Table of Contents

Basic Concepts: Composition, Structure, and State. First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics. Transfer Processes. Thermodynamics of Water. Nucleation and Diffusional Growth. Moist Thermodynamics Processes in the Atmosphere. Static Stability of the Atmosphere and Ocean. Cloud Characteristics and Processes. Ocean Surface Exchanges of Heat and Freshwater. Sea, Ice, Snow, and Glaciers. Thermohaline Processes in the Ocean. Special Topics: Global Energy and Entropy Balances. Thermodynamics Feedbacks in the Climate System. Planetary Atmospheres and Surface Ice. Appendices. Subject Index.


No. of pages:
© 1999
Academic Press
Print ISBN:
Electronic ISBN:

About the editors

Peter Webster

Peter M. Webster is Systems Librarian for the Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Canada.


"This is an excellent and well-written book . . . it will be very useful for students and for any environmental scientist." @source:--Hermann W. Bange, Mainz, Germany @qu:". . should find its place in libraries of university Earth science departments, as well as in private libraries of students and researchers in the fields of meteorology, climatology and oceanography." @source:--Pure & Applied Geophysics @qu:"This book represents a serious attempt to combine the thermodynamics of air, water, and ice in a single text. The book is well written and most of the derivations of the equations are relatively easy to follow. Numerous diagrams and tables complement the text. References at the end of the chapters are also collected at the end of the book and provide sources for additional information. Problems at the end of each chapter and selected answers at the back of the book will be useful for those who use this book as a text. The appendices contain a comprehensive list of symbols that I found to be very handy, as well as other useful information." @source:--Jay S. Hobgood, EOS, TRANSACTIONS OF THE AMERICAN GEOPHYSICAL UNION, December 2001