248 pages, 81 b/w photos, 38 b/w illustrations, 7 tables
Climate Dynamics is an advanced undergraduate-level textbook that provides an essential foundation in the physical understanding of the earth's climate system. The book assumes no background in atmospheric or ocean sciences and is appropriate for any science or engineering student who has completed two semesters of calculus and one semester of calculus-based physics. Describing the climate system based on observations of the mean climate state and its variability, the first section of Climate Dynamics introduces the vocabulary of the field, the dependent variables that characterize the climate system, and the typical approaches taken to display these variables.
The second section of the book gives a quantitative understanding of the processes that determine the climate state – radiation, heat balances, and the basics of fluid dynamics. Applications for the atmosphere, ocean, and hydrological cycle are developed in the next section, and the last three chapters of Climate Dynamics directly address global climate change. Throughout, the textbook makes connections between mathematics and physics in order to illustrate the usefulness of mathematics, particularly first-year calculus, for predicting changes in the physical world. Climate change will impact every aspect of life in the coming decades. Climate Dynamics supports and broadens understanding of the dynamics of the climate system by offering a much-needed introduction that is accessible to any science, math, or engineering student.
- Makes a physically based, quantitative understanding of climate change accessible to all science, engineering, and mathematics undergraduates.
- Explains how the climate system works and why the climate is changing.
- Reinforces, applies, and connects the basic ideas of calculus and physics.
- Emphasizes fundamental observations and understanding
"Climate change and its impacts are being embraced by a wider community than just earth scientists. A useful textbook, Climate Dynamics covers the basic science required to gain insights into what constitutes the climate system and how it behaves. While still being quantitative, the material is written in a lecture-note style that creates a simplified, but not simple, approach to teaching this complex subject."
- Chris E. Forest, Pennsylvania State University
"Comprehensive and rigorous, Climate Dynamics is a good reference for the basics of the field. With its in-depth treatment and perceptive exercises, it lays out an excellent undergraduate course on climate change – a topic of tremendous current interest. Cook's long experience working in the area shines through."
- Richard Kleeman, New York University
"This well-written and accessible book contains material for an introductory climate dynamics course. The choice of materials and presentation range from observations and simple radiative transfer models to climate feedbacks."
- Tapio Schneider, California Institute of Technology
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Kerry H. Cook is a professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas, Austin.