Synopses & Reviews
Climate Dynamics is an advanced undergraduate-level textbook that provides an essential foundation in the physical understanding of the earth's climate system. The book assumes no background in atmospheric or ocean sciences and is appropriate for any science or engineering student who has completed two semesters of calculus and one semester of calculus-based physics.
Describing the climate system based on observations of the mean climate state and its variability, the first section of the book introduces the vocabulary of the field, the dependent variables that characterize the climate system, and the typical approaches taken to display these variables. The second section of the book gives a quantitative understanding of the processes that determine the climate state--radiation, heat balances, and the basics of fluid dynamics. Applications for the atmosphere, ocean, and hydrological cycle are developed in the next section, and the last three chapters of the book directly address global climate change. Throughout, the textbook makes connections between mathematics and physics in order to illustrate the usefulness of mathematics, particularly first-year calculus, for predicting changes in the physical world.
Climate change will impact every aspect of life in the coming decades. This book supports and broadens understanding of the dynamics of the climate system by offering a much-needed introduction that is accessible to any science, math, or engineering student.
- Makes a physically based, quantitative understanding of climate change accessible to all science, engineering, and mathematics undergraduates
- Explains how the climate system works and why the climate is changing
- Reinforces, applies, and connects the basic ideas of calculus and physics
- Emphasizes fundamental observations and understanding
- An online illustration package and solutions manual for professors is available
Synopsis
"Climate change and its impacts are being embraced by a wider community than just earth scientists. A useful textbook,
Climate Dynamics covers the basic science required to gain insights into what constitutes the climate system and how it behaves. While still being quantitative, the material is written in a lecture-note style that creates a simplified, but not simple, approach to teaching this complex subject."
--Chris E. Forest, Pennsylvania State University"Comprehensive and rigorous, Climate Dynamics is a good reference for the basics of the field. With its in-depth treatment and perceptive exercises, it lays out an excellent undergraduate course on climate change--a topic of tremendous current interest. Cook's long experience working in the area shines through."--Richard Kleeman, New York University
"This well-written and accessible book contains material for an introductory climate dynamics course. The choice of materials and presentation range from observations and simple radiative transfer models to climate feedbacks."--Tapio Schneider, California Institute of Technology
About the Author
Kerry H. Cook is a professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas, Austin.
Table of Contents
Preface xi
Chapter 1 An Introduction to the Climate System 1
Reference and Additional Reading 3
Chapter 2 The Observed Climatology 4
2.1 The Atmosphere 5
2.2 The Ocean 22
2.3 The Hydrologic Cycle 33
2.4 The Cryosphere 42
2.5 The Biosphere 46
2.6 Data Sources and References 47
2.7 Exercises 48
Chapter 3 Observations of Natural Climate Variability 49
3.1 Diurnal and Seasonal Climate Variations 50
3.2 Intraseasonal Climate Variability 51
3.3 Interannual Climate Variability 54
3.4 Decadal Climate Variability 59
3.5 Climate Variations on Century to Billion-Year Time Scales 63
3.6 Additional Reading 65
Chapter 4 Radiative Processes in the Climate System 66
4.1 Blackbody Theory 66
4.2 Application of Blackbody Theory to the Earth System 67
4.3 How Constant Is the Solar Constant? 69
4.4 Solar and Terrestrial Spectra 70
4.5 The Greenhouse Effect 76
4.6 The Equation of Transfer 82
4.7 Radiative Effects of Clouds 85
4.8 References 87
4.9 Exercises 87
Chapter 5 Thermodynamics and the Flow of Heat through the Climate System 89
5.1 Equations of State 89
5.2 The First Law of Thermodynamics 91
5.3 Heat Balance Equations 92
5.4 Observed Heat Fluxes 98
5.5 Additional Reading 107
5.6 Exercises 108
Chapter 6 Dynamics: The Forces That Drive Atmospheric and Ocean Circulations 109
6.1 The Coriolis Force 110
6.2 Pressure Gradient Force 116
6.3 Hydrostatic Balance 117
6.4 Geostrophic Balance 120
6.5 Friction 122
6.6 The Momentum Equations 123
6.7 Exercises 123
Chapter 7 Atmospheric Circulations 126
7.1 Thermally Direct Circulations 126
7.2 Midlatitude Circulation Systems 135
7.3 Exercises 136
Chapter 8 Ocean Circulation Systems 137
8.1 Wind-Driven Circulation: Ekman Dynamics 137
8.2 The Density-Driven Circulation: The Thermohaline Circulation 141
8.3 Vertical Mixing Processes 142
8.4 Reference 146
8.5 Exercises 146
Chapter 9 The Hydrologic Cycle 148
9.1 Atmospheric Water Balance 148
9.2 Land Surface Water Balance 151
9.3 Exercises 152
Chapter 10 Radiative Forcing of Climate Change 153
10.1 The Atmosphere's Changing Chemical Composition 154
10.2 Radiative Effects of Greenhouse Gas Increases 160
10.3 Exercises 163
Chapter 11 Climate Change Processes 165
11.1 Climate Sensitivity 165
11.2 Climate Feedback Processes 166
11.3 Extreme Hydrologic Events 171
11.4 Exercises 172
Chapter 12 Climate Simulation and Prediction 174
12.1 Zero-Dimensional Climate Model 174
12.2 Surface Heat Balance Climate Models 176
12.3 General Circulation Models 177
12.4 Regional Climate Models 181
12.5 Earth System Models 181
12.6 Evaluating Model Uncertainty 185
12.7 Reference and Additional Reading 186
12.8 Exercises 186
Appendix A Units, Constants, and Conversions 189
Appendix B Coordinate Systems 191
Local Cartesian Coordinates 191
Earth-Centered Spherical Coordinates 192
Appendix C Lagrangian and Eulerian Derivatives 195
Index 197