As the search for Earth-like exoplanets gathers pace, in order to understand them, we need comprehensive theories for how planetary atmospheres form and evolve. Written by two well-known planetary scientists, this text explains the physical and chemical principles of atmospheric evolution and planetary atmospheres, in the context of how atmospheric composition and climate determine a planet's habitability. The authors survey our current understanding of the atmospheric evolution and climate on Earth, on other rocky planets within our Solar System, and on planets far beyond. Incorporating a rigorous mathematical treatment, they cover the concepts and equations governing a range of topics, including atmospheric chemistry, thermodynamics, radiative transfer, and atmospheric dynamics, and provide an integrated view of planetary atmospheres and their evolution. This interdisciplinary text is an invaluable one-stop resource for graduate-level students and researchers working across the fields of atmospheric science, geochemistry, planetary science, astrobiology, and astronomy.
Part I. Principles of Planetary Atmospheres:
1. The structure of planetary atmospheres
2. Energy and radiation in planetary atmospheres
3. Essentials of chemistry of planetary atmospheres
4. Motions in planetary atmospheres
5. Escape of atmospheres to space
Part II. Evolution of the Earth's Atmosphere:
6. Formation of Earth's atmosphere and oceans
7. Volcanic outgassing and mantle redox evolution
8. Atmospheric and global redox balance
9. The prebiotic and early postbiotic atmosphere
10. The rise of oxygen and ozone in Earth's atmosphere
11. Long-term climate evolution
Part III. Atmospheres and Climates on Other Worlds:
13. Evolution of Venus' atmosphere
14. Giant planets and their satellites
15. Exoplanets: habitability and characterization
Appendix A. One-dimensional climate model
Appendix B. Photochemical models
Appendix C. Atomic states and term symbols
David C. Catling is a Professor in Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington, studying planetary surfaces, atmospheres, and habitability. He actively participates in the research of NASA's Astrobiology Institute and is the author of Astrobiology: A Very Short Introduction (2013). He has taught courses in planetary atmospheres, planetary geology, astrobiology, and global environmental change at undergraduate and graduate levels. He was also an investigator for NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander, which successfully operated in the arctic of Mars during 2008.
James F. Kasting is a Distinguished Professor of Geosciences at Pennsylvania State University, and an acknowledged expert on atmospheric and climate evolution. He is the author of How to Find a Habitable Planet (2010) and coauthor of the introductory textbook, The Earth System, 3rd edition (2009). Dr Kasting is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the Geochemical Society, the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life (ISSOL), the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Sciences. He received the Oparin Medal from International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life in 2008.