This book introduces the reader to all the basic physical building blocks of climate needed to understand the present and past climate of Earth, the climates of Solar System planets, and the climates of extrasolar planets. These building blocks include thermodynamics, infrared radiative transfer, scattering, surface heat transfer and various processes governing the evolution of atmospheric composition. Nearly four hundred problems are supplied to help consolidate the reader's understanding, and to lead the reader towards original research on planetary climate.
Preface; 1. The big questions; 2. Thermodynamics in a nutshell; 3. Elementary models of radiation balance; 4. Radiative transfer in temperature-stratified atmospheres; 5. Scattering; 6. The surface energy balance; 7. Variation of temperature with season and latitude; 8. Evolution of the atmosphere; 9. A peek at dynamics; Appendix. Notation; Index.
Raymond T. Pierrehumbert is the Louis Block Professor in the Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago, where he has taught and undertaken research on a wide variety of Earth and planetary climate problems for over twenty years. He shared in the Nobel Peace Prize as a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Third Assessment Report. He co-authored the U.S. National Research Council report on Abrupt Climate Change, and is currently on the National Research Council panel on CO2 stabilization targets, as well as being a member of their Board on Atmospheric Science and Climate. He has been a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, and was named Chevalier de l'Ordre des Palmes Academiques by the Republic of France. In addition to his research on planetary climate, he writes regularly for the popular RealClimate.org climate science blog.
'The words 'original' and 'textbook' don't often go together, but I think it is appropriate to use them both when describing this book. Ray Pierrehumbert has written a book that travels from the fundamentals to the complexities of the climate system as a whole, in a clear and logical fashion, covering not just the planet Earth but the principles underlying the climates of planets more generally. There is no other book quite like it.' Dr Geoffrey K. Vallis, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab, Princeton University and author of Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics 'Principles of Planetary Climate is a significant contribution to planetary atmospheres, written by one of the field's broadest thinkers. Pierrehumbert covers a comprehensive range of topics fundamental to all planet atmospheres. He brings together the basic and advanced building blocks in a way that is both compelling and thorough. This book should be read by all interested in planetary climate.' Professor Sara Seager, Massachusetts Institute of Technology