Physics of the Atmosphere and Climate Hardcover – 16 Jan 2012
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'The first edition is a classic. As a textbook it is unequalled in breadth, depth and lucidity. It is the single volume that I recommend to every one of my students in atmospheric science. The new edition improves over the previous edition, if that is possible at all, in three aspects: beautiful illustrations of global processes … from newly available satellite data, new topics of current interest … and a new chapter on the influence of the ocean on the atmosphere. These changes make the book more useful as a starting point for studying climate change.' Professor Yuk Yung, California Institute of Technology
'… an informative and insightful tour through the contemporary issues in the atmospheric sciences as they relate to climate … a valuable resource for educators and researchers alike, serving both as a textbook for the graduate or advanced undergraduate student with a physics or mathematics background and as an excellent reference and refresher for practitioners … a welcome addition to the field.' Professor Darin W. Toohey, University of Colorado, Boulder
'… an essential reference for researchers and graduate and advanced undergraduate students who wish to have a rigorous source for a wide range of fundamental atmospheric science topics. Atmospheric and climate scientists will find this book to be an essential one for their libraries.' Associate Professor Hampton N. Shirer, Pennsylvania State University
'I recommend [this book] as a foundation for anyone who wants to do research on the important open questions about aerosols, radiation, biogeochemistry, and ocean-atmosphere coupling.' Professor Jim McWilliams, University of California, Los Angeles
Murry Salby's textbook provides an integrated treatment of the processes controlling the Earth-atmosphere system, developed from first principles through a balance of theory and applications. This is an ideal intermediate-level undergraduate textbook and reference text for graduates and researchers, supported by student problems, with detailed solutions provided online for course instructors.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
Salby has done the worst of all possible things, in the mind of anti-climate-skeptics. His very expertise as a climate scientist has led him to become an apostate to the party line. He believes that the rise in carbon dioxide can be explained in purely natural terms, invoking Henry's Law. For this apostasy, he was hounded out of his top teaching and research post - life was made unbearable.
Check the evidence on all sides, as per Scientific Method.
Marcel Leroux also wrote firstrate textbooks on Climate Science - but because he became a climate skeptic, his Wikipedia page was deleted. Marcel Leroux, Zbigniew Jaworowski, Nils-Axel Morner, and many more have had their work and reputations trashed, and been chased into oblivion, for the crime of having been good scientists with integrity whose findings led them to skepticism of manmade global warming.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
1 the format of the book makes it hard to read. It’s bad enough that it has the classic black on white printing (human eyes would find dark red on a light tan easier to read and less straining) but it’s also in small print. It would have been better to have this book in pdf format. My eyes would continuously water when trying to read it.
2 Salby talks in very scientific terms and uses heavy math throughout the book. It’s good for seasoned scientists but difficult for those who are even experience with the science.
3 Salby uses the classic theory of the greenhouse effect even though he covers it comprehensively, it didn’t answer some of the problems I have run across with the theory.
4 It would be nice if a glossary was included to define some of the scientific terms.
My critique is based on one chapter of the book involving radiative transfer. Overall the book is long and very comprehensive. Scientists would find it enlightening.
There is no political agenda in this book - which may trouble people who do have such an agenda and may have convinced themselves that the world is going to end soon if it continues to use fossil fuels. Any fair-minded reader of this massive volume cannot help but come away with an appreciation that there are many, many significant unknowns (including "unknown unknowns") that determine the climate of our planet. The vast ocean currents, the effects of clouds, water vapor, and stratospheric ice crystals, the cycles of El Nino and La Nina and other recurrent oceanic and atmospheric cycles, the ice ages, longer term climatic variations over millions of years and many other key phenomena are simply not well understood enough to justify extreme biases about the future of the Earth's climate.
The book does not focus on the question, and does not devote a separate chapter too, speculation about the feedback and homeostatic mechanisms that have allowed the Earth to maintain its climate within a fairly narrow range for many millions of years. But that cardinal fact suggests to me at least that there are powerful countervailing and complexly interacting factors that tend to keep climate on Earth within fairly narrow bounds. There have been several enormous impacts over the millennia from asteroids which wiped out over 90% of then existing forms of life; gigantic volcanic explosions have pumped vast quantities of dust and gases into the air; the Earth has been both substantially cooler and substantially warmer in the past than it is now - and yet the Earth is still here with an amazing climatic stability. There is a robustness about our planet's long-term history which should provide encouragement to reasonable people that the world is not about to end in runaway greenhouse phenomena because China and India and much of the rest of the world continue to burn fossil fuels. We all like clean air, and nobody wants to breathe the fumes of Beijing who doesn't have to, but using coal or oil doesn't mean the world is about to end.
Some information is simple and abstract and has poor relevance to the actual atmosphere. And some is very complex which conveys the real nature of the atmosphere. The book progresses from the simple erroneous concepts to the more complex and more accurate concepts. Thus you will find it contradicts itself. Let me emphasize this is the standard pedagogical progression not a criticism of this particular book. You need both (or actually all) to relate to the the spectrum of ideas presented in scientific and public literature. That means you must read through the whole book and not stop in the simplified material.
In particular, it is important to recognize the overly simplified differential equations that are reflected in international standards on the atmosphere. They are the source of irrational misinformation where the defining assumptions are neglected. Not only are they of low accuracy but they lead to incorrect understanding.
One visible area is the global mean temperature which is quoted so often in the hockey stick model of the climate.
This book presents a more in depth presentation of the localized nature of observed global mean temperature. That oxymoron gives caution to the simplified understanding of climate. That in turn is the area of most disagreement in this field
and the source of many negative reviews of this book.
Hopefully, you will realize that this neither confirms or denies climate change. It provides more information to better understand it.
That is a valuable resource for any library.
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