Planetary Atmospheres

ISBN : 9780199547418

F. W. Taylor
280 Pages
189 x 247 mm
Pub date
Aug 2010
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The emphasis of this book is on comparative aspects of planetary atmospheres, generally meaning comparison with the Earth, including atmospheric composition, thermal structure, cloud properties, dynamics, weather and climate, and aeronomy. The goal is to look for common processes at work under different boundary conditions in order to reach a fundamental understanding of the physics of atmospheres. As part of a general Physics course, the material is chosen to emphasise certain aspects that will be of broad topical interest: - evolutionary processes, setting the Earth in its context as a planet and a member of the Solar System - the properties of atmospheres that affect the climate near the surface of each planet - measurement techniques and models, where the same experimental and theoretical physics is applied under different conditions to investigate and explain atmospheric behaviour. These might be thought of as the astronomical, environmental, and technical sides of the discipline respectively. The book covers the basic physics of planetary atmospheres in a single text for students or anyone interested in this area of science. The approach is the same as in the author's Elementary Climate Physics: an overview, followed by more detailed discussion of key topics arranged by physical phenomenon and not planet by planet as usually found in this field. There is an emphasis on acquiring and interpreting measurements, and the basic physics of instruments and models, with key definitions and some historical background in footnotes and in the glossary at the end of the book.


1. The Solar System, the Planets and their Atmospheres
2. Origin and Evolution of Planetary Atmospheres
3. Observations of Planetary Atmospheres
4. Energy Balance and Entropy
5. Atmospheric Temperature Structure
6. Atmospheric Composition and Chemistry
7. Clouds, haze, aerosols and dust
8. Dynamics of Planetary Atmospheres
9. Climate and Global Change
Appendix A. Some Useful Data
Appendix B. Reference Model Atmospheres
Appendix C: Glossary

About the author: 

Professor Fredric W. Taylor is Halley Professor of Physics and Fellow of Jesus College, University of Oxford. He was educated in Northumberland, Liverpool, and Oxford, and has held appointments at Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics, Oxford and at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology. He has been principal or co-investigator on a number of experimental missions into space, and has been awarded various honours, including: the NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement (1981), Rank Prize in Opto-electronics (1989), twelve NASA Achievement Awards, (1980 onwards), Bates Medal of the European Geophysical Society for Excellence in the Planetary Sciences (2005). He is a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society (Vice-President 2005-8), and of the Royal Astronomical Society, and a member of the American Astronomical Society, Division of Planetary Sciences, and the International Astronomical Union.

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