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An Introduction to Clouds: From the Microscale to Climate

  • Fills the gap of a missing comprehensive cloud physics textbook at the undergraduate level
  • Provides detailed derivations of the main equations, enabling a thorough understanding of complex concepts, including microphysical cloud processes
  • Originates from a lecture series dedicated to a one-semester course in cloud physics

By: Ulrike Lohmann(Author), Felix Lüönd(Author), Fabian Mahrt(Author)

391 pages, 16 plates with 23 colour photos and colour illustrations; 184 b/w photos and b/w illustrations, 27 tables

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Jun 2016 | #231877 | ISBN-13: 9781107018228
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £44.99 $58/€49 approx

About this book

An Introduction to Clouds provides a fundamental understanding of clouds, ranging from cloud microphysics to the large-scale impacts of clouds on climate. On the microscale, phase changes and ice nucleation are covered comprehensively, including aerosol particles and thermodynamics relevant for the formation of clouds and precipitation. At larger scales, cloud dynamics, mid-latitude storms and tropical cyclones are discussed leading to the role of clouds on the hydrological cycle and climate. Each chapter ends with problem sets and multiple choice questions that can be completed online, and important equations are highlighted in boxes for ease of reference. Combining mathematical formulations with qualitative explanations of underlying concepts, this accessible book requires relatively little previous knowledge, making it ideal for advanced undergraduate and graduate students in atmospheric science, environmental sciences and related disciplines.

"This textbook bridges an important gap that exists in the current literature between too basic and too advanced. It is ideally suited for the upper-level undergraduate and early graduate student that needs a solid foundation in cloud microphysics and chemistry. Important contemporary topics, including uncertainty in climate change, are tackled and explained."
– Daniel Cziczo, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"This book provides a unique comprehensive overview of clouds and their role in the climate system, from the microphysical formation of droplets and ice crystals on aerosol particles, through complex cloud microphysics and cloud dynamics, all the way to cloud radiative effects and their role in the climate system. An excellent and nicely illustrated introduction to clouds for students and researchers alike."
– Philip Stier, University of Oxford

"This is an excellent comprehensive and up-to-date introductory textbook on clouds. The multiple choice questions and mathematical problems at the end of each chapter are invaluable for learning. Carefully written in a logical and easy to follow manner, this book will be a great addition to the teaching of clouds and their role in climate at the upper-level undergraduate and early graduate level."
– M. K. Yau, McGill University, Montréal


List of symbols
List of acronyms

1. Clouds
2. Thermodynamics
3. Atmospheric dynamics
4. Mixing and convection
5. Atmospheric aerosol particles
6. Cloud droplet formation and Köhler theory
7. Microphysical processes of warm clouds
8. Microphysical processes of cold clouds
9. Precipitation
10. Storms and cloud dynamics
11. Global energy budget
12. Impact of aerosol particles and clouds on climate


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Ulrike Lohmann is a professor at the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich. She obtained her PhD in climate modeling and her research now focuses on the role of clouds and aerosol particles in the climate system with an emphasis on clouds containing ice. Professor Lohmann has published more than two hundred peer-reviewed articles and several book chapters, and was a lead author of the Fourth and Fifth IPCC Assessment Reports. She was awarded the Canada Research Chair in 2002 and the AMS Henry G. Houghton Award in 2007, and is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. Ulrike Lohmann has been teaching classes in cloud microphysics and cloud dynamics for almost twenty years at both the undergraduate and graduate level.

Felix Lüönd is a researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology, METAS. He obtained his PhD in atmospheric ice nucleation for which he was awarded the ETH medal. His experimental work focused on cloud microphysics. He specialized in the development of dedicated instrumentation to study aerosol-induced freezing of cloud droplets and the interpretation of resulting experimental data in the framework of nucleation theory and its advancements. Currently, Dr Lüönd's research activities concentrate on aerosol metrology, particularly in the generation of ambient-like aerosols dedicated to establish traceability in measurements of ambient particulate matter and particle number concentration.

Fabian Mahrt is a PhD student at the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich. He obtained a Master in Atmospheric and Climate Sciences from ETH. Early in his career he developed a passion for cloud microphysics. He is particularly interested in aerosol particles and their role in cloud droplets and ice crystal formation. Fabian Mahrt's work is experimental in nature, measuring and understanding aerosol-cloud interactions in both the laboratory and in the field.

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