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Making Sense of Weather and Climate: The Science Behind the Forecasts

Popular Science

By: Mark Denny(Author)

312 pages, 90 photos and illustrations

Columbia University Press

Hardback | Jan 2017 | #237333 | ISBN-13: 9780231174923
Availability: Usually dispatched within 4 days Details
NHBS Price: £26.99 $35/€30 approx

About this book

How do meteorologists design forecasts for the next day's, the next week's, or the next month's weather? Are some forecasts more likely to be accurate than others, and why? Making Sense of Weather and Climate takes readers through key topics in atmospheric physics and presents a cogent view of how weather relates to climate, particularly climate-change science. It is the perfect book for amateur meteorologists and weather enthusiasts, and for anyone whose livelihood depends on navigating the weather's twists and turns.

Making Sense of Weather and Climate begins by explaining the essential mechanics and characteristics of this fascinating science. The noted physics author Mark Denny also defines the crucial differences between weather and climate, and then develops from this basic knowledge a sophisticated yet clear portrait of their relation. Throughout, Denny elaborates on the role of weather forecasting in guiding politics and other aspects of human civilization. He also follows forecasting's effect on the economy. Denny's exploration of the science and history of a phenomenon we have long tried to master makes Making Sense of Weather and Climate a unique companion for anyone who wants a complete picture of the environment's individual, societal, and planetary impact.

"The book is perfect for any individual who wants "textbook" science delivered in a format that is easily digested and exciting to read. Making Sense of Weather and Climate fills a niche not only between popular and college-level science, but also between the too-often separated topics of weather and climate change. Frequently presented as separate issues, Denny makes clear that the two are in fact very linked."
– Scott Mandia, Suffolk County Community College

"Weather has always interested people and has always been societally relevant. Climate change is by now at a similar level of public interest and relevance. Making Sense of Weather and Climate delivers a popular science overview of the physics of weather and climate, with a good amount of wit. Denny's approach to the subject from an applied physics perspective is a real advantage: neither too technical nor too descriptive, this book is for anyone who wants to learn more about weather and climate."
– Thomas Birner, Colorado State University

"Mark Denny's is a beautifully written, lucid story of the science of climate and weather. It explores its subjects deeply but makes them accessible to the non-technical reader; it captures the humanity of the scientific endeavor; and it describes how scientists observe weather, the statistical prism through which they must view the observations, and how they use them to construct models to render complex phenomena understandable."
– Edmond A. Mathez, author of Climate Change

"[An] educational volume on meteorology and meteorological forecasting [...] Denny's discussions on cloud formations – there are four basic forms and 10 basic types – prove particularly fascinating."
Publishers Weekly

"Denny's exploration of the science and history of a phenomenon we have long tried to master makes Making Sense of Weather and Climate a unique and accessible study for anyone desiring a complete and accurate picture of the environment's individual, societal, and planetary impact. Impressively well written, organized and presented."
Library Bookwatch


Author's Note

1. Feeling the Heat
2. Under the Heavens and the Seas
3. The Air We Breathe
4. Dynamic Planet
5. Oceans of Data
6. Statistically Speaking
7. A Condensed Account of Clouds, Rain, and Snow
8. Weather Mechanisms
9. Weather Extremes: The New Normal
10. The World of Weather Forecasting
And That Wraps Up Your Weather for Today


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Mark Denny is the author of Lights On! The Science of Power Generation (2013); The Science of Navigation: From Dead Reckoning to GPS (2012); Their Arrows Will Darken the Sun: The Evolution and Science of Ballistics (2011); Super Structures: The Science of Bridges, Buildings, Dams, and Other Feats of Engineering (2010); and Blip, Ping, and Buzz: Making Sense of Radar and Sonar (2007).

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