Encyclopedia of World Climatology / Edition 1

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Today, given the well-publicized impacts of events such as El Niño, there is an unequaled public awareness of how climate affects the quality of life and environment. Such awareness has created an increasing demand for accurate climatological information. This information is now available in one convenient, accessible source, the Encyclopedia of World Climatology. This comprehensive volume covers all the main subfields of climatology, supplies information on climates in major continental areas, and explains the intricacies of climatic processes. The level of presentation will meet the needs of specialists, university students, and educated laypersons.

A successor to the 1986 Encyclopedia of Climatology, this compendium provides a clear explanation of current knowledge and research directions in modern climatology. This new encyclopedia emphasizes climatological developments that have evolved over the past twenty years. It offers more than 200 informative articles prepared by 150 experts on numerous subjects, ranging from standard areas of study to the latest research studies.

The relationship between climatology and both physical and social science is fully explored, as is the significance of climate for our future well-being. The information is organized for speedy access. Entries are conveniently arranged in alphabetical order, thoroughly indexed, and cross-referenced. Every entry contains useful citations to additional source materials.

The Editor

John E. Oliver is Professor Emeritus at Indiana State University. He holds a B.Sc. from London University, and a MA and Ph.D from Columbia University. He taught at Columbia University and then at Indiana State where he was formerly Chair of the Geography-Geology Department, and Assoc iate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences. He has written many books and journal articles in Climatology, Applied Climatology and Physical Geography.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

From the reviews:

"This comprehensive volume covers all the main subfields of climatology, supplies information on climates in major continental areas, and explains the intricacies of climatic processes. It provides a clear explanation of current knowledge and research directions in modern climatology … . The relationship between climatology and both physical and social science is fully explored, as it is the significance of climate for our future well-being." (Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, September, 2005)

"This brand-new volume, Encyclopedia of World Climatology, is another addition to the series and is executed … with … high quality standards. Since it becomes ever more challenging to maintain an overview of the large individual fields of science, the decision of the editors to provide the community with this series cannot be overapplauded. … this encyclopedia is a wonderful and most valuable information source. It as a ‘must-have’ for every library and should be within hands reach of those working in climate research." (Jörg Matchullat, Environmental Geology, Vol. 49, 2006)

"With continued interest in topics such as global warming and El Nino, world climatology has taken on a new urgency. This encyclopedia is an outgrowth of the Encyclopedia of Climatology, also written by John E. Oliver and published in 1987. … the articles are created by outstanding climatologists and very well written. … The article on crime and climate is fascinating. The volume has an attractive cover … . Most reference collections will want to contain this important encyclopedia." (Ralph Lee Scott, ARBA online, March, 2007)

"This revised encyclopedia updates and expands the classic Encyclopedia of Climatology (1987). … The highly informative and well-written entries cover all main disciplines of climatology, provide climate information for major continental areas, and describe the dynamics of climate. … Graphs, charts, and drawings appear where appropriate. … Author and subject indexes are provided, and the entries are extensively cross-referenced. … this is an indispensable reference for all libraries. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels." (J. C. Stachacz, CHOICE, March, 2006)

"The Encyclopedia of World Climatology is an updated reference volume … . The primary use of this encyclopedia, as I see it, would be for the teacher at the secondary or tertiary level … . For students for whom science is not their first love, linking climate to politics, art, architecture and religion can serve to stimulate an interest that might even last longer than one semester. For that purpose, I’ll be happy to have this book on my shelf." (Amanda H. Lynch, Australian Meteorological Magazine, Vol. 55 (3), 2006)

"The Encyclopedia of World Climatology is an update of the book of the same title published in 1986. … The book has roughly 150 contributors and, as such, contains a wide spectrum of viewpoints on climate. … As such the book provides a worthy reference point from undergraduates to established researchers alike." (Dominic Kniveton, The Geographical Journal, Vol. 173 (1), 2007)

"This new volume, some 842 pages long, represents an effort to detail the many facets and dimensions of climatology … . a masterful array of topics presented in an academic, yet highly readable style. … the volume most deservedly merits finding its way to libraries worldwide, and certainly to the desks of students, faculty, decision makers, and the interested layperson. It ought to be obtained by many constituencies … . It should also be used by academic researchers and professionals … ." (Anthony Brazel, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 96 (4), 2006)

Library Journal
Editor Oliver (physical geography, emeritus, Indiana State Univ.; Climatology: An Atmospheric Science) and 150 international contributors have revised and updated the Encyclopedia of Climatology (1986). Some material on past climates is gone, slated instead to appear in the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Paleoclimatology and Ancient Environments, another volume in the "Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences" series. Other substantive entries, including "Hurricanes" and "Nuclear Winter," have been dropped as well. Nonetheless, this work includes 229 articles, 16 more than the original, and covers climatological developments of the past 20 years. A few additions are definitions of terms or brief biographies of climatologists, but many reflect a new focus on the impact of climate on human activity. These include the articles "Climatic Change and Ancient Civilizations," "Military Affairs and Climate," and "Seasonal Affective Disorder." Other new articles range from "Blizzard Climatology" to "Rainforest Climates." All illustrations are black and white, which renders some reproduced figures less useful or appealing than the color originals (the figures in "Art and Climate" are of particularly poor quality). The A-Z entries, ranging from a quarter of a page to 17 pages in length, are selectively cross-referenced, and bibliographies follow even the briefest articles. The writing varies: one author defines the common scientific term pH, while another uses orographic repeatedly with no explanation. There are a number of minor editing errors, as well as some apparent problems with the printing of umlauts and accent marks. Indexes of authors cited and subjects complete the work. Bottom Line Scholarly encyclopedias covering weather and climate are few and far between. Considerably less expensive than Academic Press's six-volume Encyclopedia of Atmospheric Sciences, this is a useful update for libraries owning Oxford University Press's Encyclopedia of Climate and Weather. Recommended for academic, special, and large public libraries. [The online version of this series can be found at www.eseo.com.-Ed.]-Nancy R. Curtis, Univ. of Maine Lib., Orono Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402032646
  • Publisher: Springer Netherlands
  • Publication date: 6/6/2008
  • Series: Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series
  • Edition description: 1st ed. 2005. Corr. 2nd printing 2008
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 854
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 2.00 (d)

Meet the Author

John E. Oliver is Professor Emeritus at Indiana State University. He holds a B.Sc. from London University, and an MA and Ph.D from Columbia University. He taught at Columbia University and then at Indiana State where he was formerly Chair of the Geography-Geology Department, and Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences. He has written many books and journal articles in Climatology, Applied Climatology and Physical Geography.

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Table of Contents

Boundary Layer Climatology 168

D.S. Munro

Bowen Ratio 178

John E. Oliver

Budyko, Mikhail Ivanovich 179

William A. Dando

Carbon-14 Dating 181

Claudio Vita-Finzi

Centers of Action 182

Robert M. Hordon

Central America and the Caribbean, Climate of 183

Michael A. Taylor and Eric J. Alfaro

Climate Affairs 189

Michael H. Glantz

Climatic Change and Ancient Civilizations 192

Masatoshi Yoshino

Climate Change and Global Warming 199

Michael C. MacCracken

Climate Change and Human Health 209

Anthony J. McMichael and Rosalie E. Woodruff

Climate Change Impacts: Potential

Environmental and Societal Consequences 213

Michael C. MacCracken

Climate Classification 218

John E. Oliver

Climate Comfort Indices 227

Yuk Yee Yan

Climate Data Centers 231

Robert Mark Simpson

Climate Hazards 233

Jack Hobbs

Climate Modeling and Research Centers 243

Robert Mark Simpson

Climate Variation: Historical 247

Rhodes W. Fairbridge

Climate Variation: Instrumental Data 263

Enric Aguilar, Robert G. Quayle and

J. Murray Mitchell Junior

Climate Vulnerability 266

Paul Kay

Climate Zones 270

John E. Oliver

Climatology 272

H.E. Landsberg/J.E. Oliver

Climatology, History of 283

David H. Miller

Cloud Climatology 289

Joel Norris

Coastal Climate 294

R.A. Muller, H.J. Walker, and S.A. Hsu

Commerce and Climate 298

David Changnon

Condensation 302

John E. Oliver

Continental Climate and Continentality 303

Richard Snow

Coral Reefs and Climate 305

J. Kleypas

Coriolis Effect 306

Yuk Yee Yan

Crime and Climate 307

James Lebeau

Cultural Climatology 308

John Thornes

Cycles and Periodicities 309

W.J. Burroughs

Degree Days 315

Danny M. Vaughn

Desertification 318

Michael H. Glantz

Deserts 324

Sharon E. Nicholson

Determinism, Climatic 333

Akhtar H. Siddiqi and John E. Oliver

Dew/Dewpoint 336

John E. Oliver

Doldrums 338

Joseph Gentilli

Drought 338

Donald A. Wilhite

Dynamic Climatology 341

Glen A. Marotz

Easterly Waves 346

John E. Oliver

Ekman (Spiral) Layer 347

Rhodes W. Fairbridge

Electromagnetic Radiation 348

Rhodes W. Fairbridge

El Niño 349

Michael H. Glantz


Energy Budget Climatology 351

David Greenland

Europe, Climate of 355

Keith Robert Boucher

Evaporation 367

W.C. Swinbank

Evapotranspiration 370

John E. Oliver

Extratropical Cyclones 373

Greg Bierly

Ferrel Cell 378

Rhodes W. Fairbridge

Flohn, Hermann 379

Cameron Douglas Craig

Fog and Mist 379

John A. Day

Folklore, Myths and Climate 380

Randall S. Cerveny

Frost 381

Benjamin Moulton and John E. Oliver

Gentilli, Joseph 384

John Dodson

Geomorphology and Climate 385

Susan Berta

Global Environmental Change: Impacts 388

R.E. Munn and A.R. Maarouf

Greenhouse Effect and Greenhouse Gases 391

A.J. Pitman

Hadley Cell 398

John E. Oliver

Hadley, George 399

Lisa M. Butler Harrington

Hail 399

Lewis G. Wixon

Hare, F. Kenneth 402

John Hay

Heat Index 403

Thomas W. Schlatter

Heat Low 405

L.M. Trapasso

Holocene Epoch 405

Neil Roberts

Horse Latitudes 406

Rhodes W. Fairbridge

Howard, Luke 406

Cameron Douglas Craig

Human Health and Climate 407

Laurence S. Kalkstein

von Humboldt (Baron), Friedrich Heinrich Alexander 412

Lisa M. Butler Harrington

Humid Climates 412

James A. Henry

Humidity 413

John E. Oliver and Rhodes W. Fairbridge

Hydroclimatology 415

Wayne M. Wendland

Hurricanes – Data and Data Sources 420

John E. Oliver

Ice Ages 422

Rhodes W. Fairbridge

Icebergs and Heinrich Events 424

Rhodes W. Fairbridge

Icelandic Low 428

Robert M. Hordon

Indian Summer 429

John E. Oliver

Intergovernmental Panel in Climate Change (IPCC) 429

John E. Oliver

Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) 429

Yuk Yee Yan

Inversion 432

John E. Oliver

"ISO" Terms 433

John E. Oliver and Rhodes W. Fairbridge

Jet Streams 435

Elmar Reiter and Greg Bierly

Katabatic (Gravity) Winds 440

D.S. Munro

Kepler’s Laws 441

Rhodes W. Fairbridge

Köppen, Wladimir Peter 441

William A. Dando

Krakatoa Winds 442

Rhodes W. Fairbridge

Kyoto Protocol 443

John E. Oliver

Lakes, Effects on Climate 444

Thomas W. Schmidlin


Lamb, Hubert H. 445

Mick Kelly

Land and Sea Breezes 446

Yuk Yee Yan

Landsberg, Helmut E. 447

Ferdinand Baer

Lapse Rate 448

Rhodes W. Fairbridge and John E. Oliver

Latent Heat 450

David R. Legates

Lightning 451

S. Ladochy

Literature and Climate 453

Christina Dando

Little Ice Age 457

Rhodes W. Fairbridge

Local Climatology 460

Masatoshi Yoshino

Local Winds 467

John E. Oliver

The Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO) 476

John E. Oliver

Maritime Climate 477

John E. Oliver

Mather, John R. 479

Sandra F. Pritchard Mather

Maunder, Edward Walter and Maunder Minimum 480

Patrick Moore and John E. Oliver

Maury, Matthew Fontaine 481

Lisa M. Butler Harrington

Medieval Warm Period or "Little Climatic Optimum" 482

Rhodes W. Fairbridge

Mediterranean Climates 485

G. Jay Lennartson

Microclimatology 486

W.G. Bailey

Middle Latitude Climates 500

Allen Perry

Milankovitch, Milutin 502

George Kukla and Rhodes W. Fairbridge

Military Affairs and Climate 503

Richard W. Dixon

Models, Climatic 505

Brian Hanson and Cort J. Willmott

Monsoons and Monsoon Climate 509

S.K. Dash

Montreal Protocol 516

John E. Oliver

Mountain and Valley Winds 516

John E. Oliver and Rhodes W. Fairbridge

Mountain Climates 517

David Greenland

National Center for Atmospheric Research 524


National Climate Data Center/Data Sources 524

John E. Oliver

North America, Climate of 525

William T. Corcoran and Elias Johnson

North American (Canadian) High 535

Robert M. Hordon

North Atlantic Oscillation 536

James W. Hurrell

Ocean–Atmosphere Interaction 540

G.R. Bigg

Ocean Circulation 547

J.G. Harvey and J.E. Oliver

Orographic Precipitation 552

Donna Tucker

Oscillations 555

John E. Oliver

Ozone 556

J. Ben Liley

Pacific (Hawaiian) High 562

Robert M. Hordon

Pacific North American Oscillation (PNA) 563

John E. Oliver

Paleoclimatology 564

A.S. Goudie

Palmer Index/Palmer Drought Severity Index 571

James E. Newman and John E. Oliver

Phase Changes 573

John E. Oliver

Precipitation 574

Donna F. Tucker

Precipitation Distribution 576

Orman E. Granger

Pressure, Surface 583

Brian D. Giles


Pressure, Upper Air 588

Brian D. Giles

Quasi-Biennial Oscillation 597

Rhodes W. Fairbridge

Radar, Climatic Applications 600

David L. Arnold

Radiation Climatology 603

Gerald Mills

Radiation Laws 611

A. John Arnfield

Rainforest Climates 612

John J. Hidore

Rainshadow 615

L.M. Trapasso

Reanalysis Projects 615

Brian D. Giles

Relative Humidity 617

John E. Oliver

Religion and Climate 618

William A. Dando

Rossby Wave/Rossby Number 625

Jay R. Harman and John E. Oliver

Satellite Observations of the Earth’s Climate System 629

Graeme L. Stephens

Savanna Climate 635

John J. Hidore

Scales of Climate 637

A.A.L.N. Sarma

Sea Ice and Climate 639

John E. Walsh

Sea Level Rise 641

Vivien Gornitz

Seasonal Affective Disorder 644

Michael D. Morgan

Seasonal Climate Prediction 646

Peitao Peng

Seasonality: Astronomic Forcing 648

Rhodes W. Fairbridge

Seasons 651

Ted Alsop

Sensible Heat 655

David R. Legates

Siberian (Asiatic) High 656

Robert M. Hordon

Singularities 657

John E. Oliver

Snow and Snow Cover 658

Ross D. Brown and David A. Robinson

Solar Activity 663

James H. Shirley

Solar Constant 666

James H. Shirley

Solar Flare 667

James H. Shirley

Solar Radiation 667

L.J. Bruce McArthur

Solar Wind 673

John E. Oliver

South America, Climate of 673

Norys Jiminez and John E. Oliver

Southern Oscillation 679

Rhodes W. Fairbridge

Sports, Recreation and Climate 682

Steve Stadler

Spring Green Wave 684

Mark D. Schwartz

Standard Atmosphere 686

John E. Oliver

Statistical Climatology 687

Scott M. Robeson

Sunspots 694

Rhodes W. Fairbridge

Synoptic Climatology 700

Roger G. Barry

Taiga Climate 705

Mary Snow

Teleconnections 707

Adam Burnett

Temperature Distribution 711

L.M. Trapasso

Terrestrial Radiation 716

A. John Arnfield

Thornthwaite, Charles W. 717

John R. Mather

Thunder 718

Richard K. Cook

Thunderstorms 719

Rodger A. Brown


Tornadoes 724

Edward Aguado and James E. Burt

Tourism and Climate 730

Allen Perry

Trade Winds and the Trade Wind Inversion 731

T.W. Giambelluca

Tree-Ring Analysis 732

Harold C. Fritts and James H. Speer

Tropical and Equatorial Climates 742

James Henry

Tropical Cyclones 750

Jay Hobgood

Troposphere 756

K. Dewey

Tundra Climate 756

Mary Snow

Turbulence and Diffusion 759

Hans A. Panofsky

Ultraviolet Radiation 762

A. John Arnfield

Units and Conversions 763

John E. Oliver

Urban Climatology 766

Anthony J. Brazel and Dale Quatrocchi

Vegetation and Climate 780

John R. Mather and Michael J. Brewer

Volcanic Eruptions and their Impact on the

Earth’s Climate 788

S.L. de Silva

Vorticity 794

Greg Bierly

Walker Circulation 797

John E. Oliver

Water Budget Analysis 798

Robert A. Muller and John M. Grymes III

Weather 805

John E. Oliver

Wind Chill 805

Thomas W. Schlatter

Wind Power Climatology 807

Steve Stadler and Tim Hughes

Winds and Wind Systems 813

Robert C. Balling Jr. and Randall S. Cerveny

Zonal Index 820

John E. Oliver

Index of Authors Cited 823

Subject Index 843

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