An Introduction to Atmospheric Physics


Since publication of the first edition in 1963, developments in science and
in the relation of science to society have occurred that make this revised
edition appropriate and, in fact, somewhat overdue. The principles of
physics, of course, have not changed, and the atmosphere has changed little.
What is different is that in some respects we are now better able to relate
atmospheric processes and properties to physical principles. Research results
have extended our understanding and brought the various topics of atmospheric physics closer together. At the same time the vital linkages of
atmospheric processes to habitability of our planet have become increasingly
apparent and have stimulated greater interest in atmospheric physics.
A new chapter on atmospheric motions has been included, reflecting (a)
the essential coupling of motions with the state and physical processes of
the atmosphere and (b) the recognition that other books published in the past
decade make unnecessary the separate volume on motions that had been
planned originally. Accordingly, in the new Chapter IV we concentrate on
the fundamentals of atmospheric motions that interact with the topics of
energy transfer and signal phenomena discussed in other chapters. Ionospheric and magnetospheric physics have developed in a specialized manner
and to a high level of sophistication, so that these topics deserve separate
treatment from the remainder of atmospheric physics. Also, the ionized
upper atmosphere in most respects acts essentially independently of the
neutral lower atmosphere. For these reasons, we have with some reluctance
omitted ionospheric and magnetospheric physics from this revised edition.
With these changes, the text now provides a reasonably concise but complete
course in atmospheric physics that is suitable for upper division physics
students, as well as for students of the atmospheric sciences.
The final two chapters on energy transfer and signal phenomena have
been rewritten and extended, and other chapters have been revised in
accordance with insights provided by recent research. The interrelationships
of boundary layer structure and energy transfer, the roles of radiation and
atmospheric motions in atmospheric composition and in climate, and the use
ofremote sensing in atmospheric measurement are some ofthe subjects that
receive new emphasis. We have taken advantage ofthe opportunity to bring
other material up to date, to make a variety of corrections, and to improve
clarity. We have responded to the most frequent criticism of the earlier
edition by including solutions to most of the problems.