The Global Circulation of the Atmosphere

The Global Circulation of the Atmosphere




Despite major advances in the observation and numerical simulation of the atmosphere, basic features of the Earth's climate remain poorly understood. Integrating the available data and computational resources to improve our understanding of the global circulation of the atmosphere remains a challenge. Theory must play a critical role in meeting this challenge. This book provides an authoritative summary of the state of the art on this front.

Bringing together sixteen of the field's leading experts to address those aspects of the global circulation of the atmosphere most relevant to climate, the book brings the reader up to date on the key frontiers in general circulation theory-including the nonlinear and turbulent global-scale dynamics that determine fundamental aspects of the Earth's climate. While emphasizing theory, as expressed through relatively simple mathematical models, it also draws connections to simulations with comprehensive general circulation models. Topics include the dynamics of storm tracks, interactions between wave dynamics and the hydrological cycle, monsoons, tropical and extratropical dynamics and interactions, and the processes controlling atmospheric humidity.

An essential resource for graduate students in atmospheric, ocean, and climate sciences and for researchers seeking an overview of the field, The Global Circulation of the Atmosphere sets the standard for future research in a science that stands at a critical juncture.

With a foreword by Edward Lorenz, the book includes chapters by Christopher Bretherton; Kerry Emanuel; Isaac Held; David Neelin; Raymond Pierrehumbert, Hélène Brogniez, and Rémy Roca; Alan Plumb; Walter Robinson; Tapio Schneider; Richard Seager and David Battisti; Adam Sobel; Kyle Swanson; and Pablo Zurita-Gotor and Richard Lindzen.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691121819
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 09/09/2007
Pages: 400
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Tapio Schneider is assistant professor of environmental science and engineering at the California Institute of Technology. Adam H. Sobel is associate professor of applied physics and applied mathematics and of earth and environmental sciences at Columbia University.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Edward N. Lorenz vii
Preface xi
Chapter 1: Progress and Problems in Large-Scale Atmospheric Dynamics by Isaac M. Held 1
Chapter 2: Theories of Baroclinic Adjustment and Eddy Equilibration by Pablo Zurita-Gotor and Richard S. Lindzen 22
Chapter 3: The Thermal Stratification of the Extratropical Troposphere by Tapio Schneider 47
Chapter 4: Storm Track Dynamics by Kyle L. Swanson 78
Chapter 5: Eddy-Mediated Interactions Between Low Latitudes and the Extratropics by Walter A. Robinson 104
Chapter 6: On the Relative Humidity of the Atmosphere by Raymond T. Pierrehumbert, Hélène Brogniez, and Rémy Roca 143
Chapter 7: Quasi-Equilibrium Dynamics of the Tropical Atmosphere by Kerry Emanuel 186
Chapter 8: Simple Models of Ensemble-Averaged Tropical Precipitation and Surface Wind, Given the Sea Surface Temperature by Adam H. Sobel 219
Chapter 9: Dynamical Constraints on Monsoon Circulations by R. Alan Plumb 252
Chapter 10: Moist Dynamics of Tropical Convection Zones in Monsoons, Teleconnections, and Global Warming by J. David Neelin 267
Chapter 11: Challenges in Numerical Modeling of Tropical Circulations by Christopher S. Bretherton 302
Chapter 12: Challenges to Our Understanding of the General Circulation: Abrupt Climate Change by Richard Seager and David S. Battisti 331
List of Contributors 373
Index 375

What People are Saying About This


This is an authoritative status report on the current theoretical understanding of the general circulation of the atmosphere, one that will be of value for many years to come.
John M. Wallace, University of Washington

Geoffrey Vallis

This is a terrific collection of articles. The authors, all authorities in their respective subfields, provide a diverse and insightful view of the general circulation of the atmosphere, and the book as a whole makes a unique and valuable contribution to the field. It can be used profitably by graduate students and by scientists as a general resource; furthermore, journal clubs can find here a ready-made curriculum.
Geoffrey Vallis, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory and Princeton University

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