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Climatology: An Atmospheric Science


Climatology: An Atmospheric Science Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Taking the study of atmospheric science beyond the daily weather map, Climatology explores the broader impacts of weather and climate. The authors cover multiple facets of climate, many of which play a significant role in everyday life—and examine many topics, such as past climates, that are seldom adequately covered in other introductions to the subject. The science behind widely publicized events is explained within the systematic coverage of climate and climatology. The relationships between climate and peopleare discussed in detail, and readers are shown how common things ranging from wind-chill to architecture are understood in the wider context of climate. In the Third Edition, data and information have been updated throughout and significant coverage is devoted to climate change.

Climatology in the World Today; Energy and the Climate System; Atmospheric Temperatures; Climate and the Hydrologic Cycle; Wind and Circulation Patterns; Atmosphere-Ocean Interactions; Air Mass and Synoptic Climatology; Air Mass and Synoptic Climatology; Climatology of Atmospheric Storms; Natural Causes of Climate Change; Reconstruction of Past Climates; Greenhouse Gases and Global Warming; Climate Change and the Physical Environment; Climate Change and the Living World; Changes in Atmospheric Chemistry; Regional Climates: Scales of Study; Tropical Climates; Mid-Latitude Climates; Polar and Highland Climates; The Human Response to Climate; Climate, Agriculture, and Industry.

A useful reference for anyone who wants to learn more about Earth’s climate and weather.

About the Author

John Hidore is retired from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. John’s work has taken him to regions across the globe—including the Middle East, where he conducted research for a year in the Sudan, and later witnessed the breakout of civil war in Beirut, Lebanon in 1975. He has also worked and traveled in Saudi Arabia and Israel.


Richard Snow and Mary Snow are both Associate Professors of Meteorology at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, where their program focuses on the theory and study of climatology, as well as its applications to industrial and business operations. They are new to this edition of Climatology.

John E. Oliver, deceased, received a bachelor’s degree from London University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Columbia University in New York.  He taught at Columbia University and in 1973 joined the faculty at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana. During his tenure at Indiana State, John served terms as Chair of the Geography-Geology Department and as the Associate Dean, College of Arts and Science.  He was Professor Emeritus at the time of his death in May 2008.

    John Oliver distinguished himself as the author of numerous books and articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals. He wrote extensively in the areas of climatology and physical geography. Among his major works is the Encyclopedia of World Climatology (2005), which he edited.  John was co-founder of the journal Physical Geography  and served as climatology editor of the journal from 1979-2000.  In honor of his teaching, research, and university administration, he received the Distinguished Professor award from the College of Arts and Science at Indiana State University.  The Climate Specialty Group in the Association of American Geographers presented him the first Lifetime Achievement Award (1998) for his many contributions to the study of climatology and to that professional organization.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1    Climatology in the World Today

The Atmosphere and Atmospheric Sciences

Climatology: A Brief History

         The Content of Climatology

Atmospheric Variables and Data Availability

        Data Representation


The Standard Atmosphere

         Atmospheric chemistry

         Constant gases

         The Gas Laws

         Variable Gases

Vertical Structure of Earth's Atmosphere



         Above the Stratosphere

Summary, Key Terms, Review Questions

Chapter 2    Energy and the Climate System

The Solar Source




Energy Transfer

The Nature of Radiation

The Atmosphere and Solar Radiation





The Planetary Energy Budget

         The Greenhouse Effect

Earth's Surface and Solar Radiation

The Steady-State System

Summary, Key Terms, Review Questions

Chapter 3    Atmospheric Temperatures    

The Seasons

Daily Temperature Changes

         Daytime Heating

         Nighttime Cooling

         Daily Temperature Range

Seasonal Lag and Extreme Temperatures    

Factors Influencing the Vertical Distribution of Temperature

Factors Influencing the Horizontal Distribution of Temperature


         Surface Properties

         Aspect and Topography

         Dynamic Factors

Temperatures over the Earth’s Surface

Summary, Key Terms, Review Questions

Chapter 4    Climate and the Hydrologic Cycle

Changes of State

The Hydrologic Cycle

Relative Humidity

Evaporation and Transpiration

Condensation Near the Ground: Dew, Mist and Fog

Foggy Places

Condensation Above the Surface: Clouds

Cloud Forms and Classification

Vertical Motion in the Atmosphere

         Adiabatic Heating and Cooling

         Lapse Rates

Regional Variation in Precipitation

Variation in Precipitation Through Time

The Water Balance

        A method for Calculating the Water Balance

Summary, Key Terms, Review Questions

Chapter 5    Wind and Circulation Patterns

Atmospheric Pressure

Factors Influencing Air Motion

         Newton’s Laws of Motion

         Pressure Gradient

         Coriolis Effect


         Rotational Forces

The Resulting Patterns

The General Circulation

         Meridional Circulation

         Zonal Circulation

Tropical Circulation

         Trade Winds

         The Intertropical Convergence Zone

Mid-latitude Circulation

Polar Circulation

Seasonal Changes in the Global Pattern


         Asian Monsoon

Periodic Local Winds

         Land and Sea Breezes

         Mountain and Valley Breezes

         Föhn Winds

Summary, Key Terms, Review Questions


Chapter 6    Atmosphere-Ocean Interactions

Ocean Currents

The Thermohaline Circulation

The Walker Circulation

         El Niño

         El Niño Episode of 1982-1983

         El Niño Event of 1997-1998

         El Niño and Northern Hemisphere Weather

         Counterpoint-La Niña

The Impacts of El Niño

         Agricultural Losses

         Disease Outbreaks

         Wildlife Losses

Forecasting El Niño

The Pacific Decadal Oscillation

Interannual Variation in the Monsoons

Summary, Key Terms, Review Questions

Chapter 7    Air Mass and Synoptic Climatology

Air Masses

Fronts and Middle Latitude Cyclones


         Cyclones and Upper Air Circulation

Synoptic Climatic Studies

        The Hemispheric Scale

Satellite Climatology

         Orbits and Sensors

         Limitations and Opportunities of Satellite Studies

Summary, Key Terms, Review Questions

Chapter 8    Climatology of Atmospheric Storms

Tropical Cyclones

         Formation of Tropical Cyclones

         The Time and Place of Occurrence

         Hurricane Surge and Coastal Flooding

         North American Hurricanes

         Hurricane Hazard in the United States


         Associated Hazards


         Formation of Tornadoes

         Distribution of Tornadoes

         Hazards of Tornadoes

         Tornado Outbreaks of 1925 and 1974

         Tornado Forecasting

         Radar-Tool for Analysis and Forecasting

         Doppler Radar



Summary, Key Terms, Review Questions


Chapter 9    Natural Causes of Climate Change

Short-Term Changes

         Variation in Solar Irradiance

         Sunspot Activity

         Variation in Atmospheric Dust

         Human-Induced Changes in Earth’s Surface

Long-Term Climatic Changes

         Earth–Sun Relationships

         Distribution of Continents

         Variation in the Oceans

         Extraterrestrial Impacts

Other Theories

Summary, Key Terms, Review Questions

Chapter 10    Reconstruction of Past Climates

Evidence from Ice

         Glaciers and Glaciation

         Ice Sheets and Cores

         Periglacial Evidence

Ancient Sediments

Sea Level Changes

Past Life

         The Faunal Evidence

         The Floral Evidence

Climatic Change over Geologic Time

Climate Since the Ice Retreat

Evidence from the Historical Period

         The Last 1000 Years

Summary, Key Terms, Review Questions

Chapter 11    Greenhouse Gases and Global Warming

Carbon in the Environment

Changing Levels of Carbon Dioxide

Carbon Dioxide and the Theory of Global Warming

Future Changes in Carbon Dioxide

Other Greenhouse Gases


        Permafrost and methane

        Nitrogen oxides


        Thermal Pollution

Changes in the Temperature Record

Future Changes in Global Temperatures

Politics of Climate Change

Summary, Key Terms, Review Questions

Chapter 12    Climate Change and the Physical Environment

Antarctic Warming

Arctic Warming


        Sea Ice

        Arctic Ice Shelves

        Melting Permafrost

Melting of Earth's Mountain Glaciers



        Europe and the Americas

Ocean Properties   

        Rising Temperatures

        Rising Sea Level

        Future Sea Level

Changing Weather Systems

Summary, Key Terms, Review Questions

Chapter 13    Climate Change and the Living World   

Terrestrial Systems

        Length of Growing Season

        North American Forests

        Climate Change and Agriculture

Aquatic Systems

        Coral Reefs

        Fresh Water Systems

Impact of Rising Sea Level

Climate Change and Human Health

Spread of Tropical Diseases


         West Nile Encephalitis Virus

         Dengue Fever

         Chikungunya (Chicken Guinea)



Summary, Key Terms, Review Questions

Chapter 14    Changes in Atmospheric Chemistry

Atmospheric Pollutants


         Carbon Monoxide

         Sulfur Compounds

         Nitrogen Oxides

         Surface Ozone

         Atmospheric Brown Clouds

Acid precipitation

         Global Distribution of Acid Rain

         Impact of Acid Precipitation on Terrestrial Systems

         Acid Rain and Human Health

         Impact of Acid Rain on Structures

Stratospheric Ozone and Ultraviolet Radiation

         Stratospheric Ozone


         Antarctic Ozone Hole

         Global Decline in Ozone

         International Response to Ozone Depletion

         Ultraviolet Radiation and Living Organisms

         Ultraviolet-B and Human Health

         Future Depletion of Ozone

Summary, Key Terms, Review Questions


Chapter 15    Regional Climates: Scales of Study



         General Characteristics of Microclimates

         Role of Surface Cover

         Role of Topography

Local and Mesoscale Climates

         Forest Climates

         Mesoscale Climates

Macroscale Climates

Classification of World Climates

         Approach to Classification

The Köppen System

Climate and the Distribution of Vegetation




         Colder Realms: Taiga and Tundra

         Disturbed Formations

Summary, Key Terms, Review Questions

Chapter 16    Tropical Climates           

Radiation and Temperature


The tropical rainforest Climate (Af)

         The Rainforest Biome

         Species Diversity

         Tropical Deforestation

         Deforestation in the Amazon River Valley

         The Galapagos: An Equatorial Dry Region

         Global Warming in the Tropics

The Tropical Wet-and-Dry Climate(Aw)

The Tropical Deserts (BWh)

Coastal Deserts

Desert Storms


Summary, Key Terms, Review Questions

Chapter 17    Mid-Latitude Climates

General Characteristics

         Middle latitude Circulation



Climatic Types

         Midlatitude Wet Climates

         Marine West-Coast Climates

         Midlatitude Winter-Dry Climates

         Midlatitude Summer-Dry Climates

         Midlatitude Deserts

Warming in North America

Summary, Key Terms, Review Questions

Chapter 18    Polar and Highland Climates

The Arctic Basin

         Polar Lows and Arctic Hurricanes

The Polar Wet and Dry Climate

The Antarctic Continent

        The Energy Balance

         The Windy Continent


The Polar Wet Climate

Highland Climates

Chinook Winds

Summary, Key Terms, Review Questions


Chapter 19    The Human Response to Climate

The Physiological Response

Biometeorological Indices

Solar Radiation and People

Climate and Health


         Morbidity and Mortality

Climate and Architecture

         Climate and Primitive Constructions

         Climate and Modern Structures

         Heating and Cooling Degree Days

         The Building Fabric

         Regional House Design

Urban Climates

         The Modified Processes

         The Observed Results

Summary, Key Terms, Review Questions

Chapter 20    Climate, Agriculture, and Industry


         Climate and Crop Distribution

         Extending the Climatic Limits

         Climate and Crop Yields


         Industrial Location

         Energy Production


         Air Transport


         Land Transportation

Tourism and Commerce



Summary, Key Terms, Review Questions






Product Details

Hidore, John J.
Prentice Hall
Snow, Richard
Snow, Mary
ard Snow
Oliver, John E.
Earth Sciences - Meteorology & Climatology
Atmospheric physics
Publication Date:
August 2009
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
10.9 x 8.6 x 0.9 in 998 gr

Related Subjects

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Science and Mathematics » Physics » Meteorology
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