Books  Environmental Science  Climate & Climate Change 

Physics of the Atmosphere and Climate


By: Murry L Salby

504 pages, 371 b/w illus. 4 tables 296 exercises

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Mar 2012 | Edition: 2 | #191907 | ISBN-13: 9780521767187
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £54.99 $67/€62 approx

About this book

Murry Salby's new book provides an integrated treatment of the processes controlling the Earth-atmosphere system, developed from first principles through a balance of theory and applications. This book builds on Salby's previous book, Fundamentals of Atmospheric Physics. The scope has been expanded into climate, with the presentation streamlined for undergraduates in science, mathematics and engineering. Advanced material, suitable for graduate students and as a resource for researchers, has been retained but distinguished from the basic development. The book provides a conceptual yet quantitative understanding of the controlling influences, integrated through theory and major applications. It leads readers through a methodical development of the diverse physical processes that shape weather, global energetics and climate. End-of-chapter problems of varying difficulty develop student knowledge and its quantitative application, supported by answers and detailed solutions online for instructors.

Advance praise: 'The first edition (1996) is a classic. As a textbook it is unequalled in breadth, depth and lucidity. It is the single volume that I recommend to every one of my students in atmospheric science. The new edition (2011) improves over the previous edition, if that is possible at all, in three aspects: beautiful illustrations of global processes (e.g. hydrological cycle) from newly available satellite data, new topics of current interest (e.g. interannual changes in the stratosphere and the oceans) and a new Chapter 17 on the influence of the ocean on the atmosphere. These changes make the book more useful as a starting point for studying climate change.' Yuk Yung, California Institute of Technology 'Murry Salby presents an informative and insightful tour through the contemporary issues in the atmospheric sciences as they relate to climate. Physics of the Atmosphere and Climate is a valuable resource for educators and researchers alike, serving both as a textbook for the graduate or advanced undergraduate student with a physics or mathematics background and as an excellent reference and refresher for practitioners. It is a welcome addition to the field.' Darin W. Toohey, University of Colorado, Boulder 'Salby's book provides an exhaustive survey of the atmospheric and climate sciences. The topics are well-motivated with thorough discussion and are supported with excellent figures. The book is an essential reference for researchers and graduate and advanced undergraduate students who wish to have a rigorous source for a wide range of fundamental atmospheric science topics. The chapters end with an excellent selection of additional references and a challenging set of problems. Atmospheric and climate scientists will find this book to be an essential one for their libraries.' Hampton N. Shirer, Pennsylvania State University 'Salby's book is a graduate textbook on Earth's atmosphere and climate that is well balanced between the physics of the constituent materials and fluid dynamics. I recommend it as a foundation for anyone who wants to do research on the important open questions about aerosols, radiation, biogeochemisty, and ocean-atmosphere coupling.' Jim McWilliams, University of California, Los Angeles


1. The Earth-atmosphere system
2. Thermodynamics of gases
3. The second law and its implications
4. Heterogeneous systems
5. Transformations of moist air
6. Hydrostatic equilibrium
7. Static stability
8. Radiative transfer
9. Aerosol and cloud
10. Atmospheric motion
11. Atmospheric equations of motion
12. Large-scale motion
13. The planetary boundary layer
14. Atmospheric waves
15. The general circulation
16. Dynamic stability
17. Influence of the ocean
18. Interaction with the stratosphere

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Murry Salby holds the Chair of Climate Science at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. He was previously a Professor at the University of Colorado, where he served as Director of the Center for Atmospheric Theory and Analysis. Before that he was a researcher at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research and at Princeton University. Professor Salby has authored more than 100 scientific articles in major international journals, as well as the textbook Fundamentals of Atmospheric Physics (1996). His research focuses on changes of the atmospheric circulation in relation to global structure, energetics and climate. Involving large-scale computer simulation and satellite data, Salby's research has provided insight into a wide range of phenomena in the Earth-atmosphere system.

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