The Atmospheric Environment: Effects of Human Activity / Edition 1

The Atmospheric Environment: Effects of Human Activity / Edition 1

by Michael B. McElroy
Pub. Date:
Princeton University Press
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The Atmospheric Environment: Effects of Human Activity / Edition 1

This comprehensive introduction to the physics and chemistry of Earth's atmosphere explains the science behind some of the most critical and intensely debated environmental controversies of our day. In it, one of the world's leading experts on planetary environments presents the background necessary to assess the complex effects of human activity on our atmosphere and climate.

Unique in its breadth and depth of coverage, The Atmospheric Environment includes a survey of Earth's climatic history to provide a context for assessing the changes underway today. It is written for—and will be of lasting value to—a varied audience, including not only students but also professional scientists and others seeking a sophisticated but readable introduction to the frontiers of contemporary research on biogeochemistry, depletion of stratospheric ozone, tropospheric air pollution, and climatology.

The book covers both the chemistry and physics of the atmosphere with an account of relevant aspects of ocean science, treats atmospheric science and the climate as an integrated whole, and makes explicit the policy implications of what is known. Its critical account of steps taken by the international community to address the issue of climatic change highlights the challenge of dealing with a global issue for which the political and economic stakes are high, where uncertainties are common, and where there is an urgent need for clear thinking and informed policy. The book also sketches key gaps in our knowledge, outlining where we need to go to fully understand the impact of our actions on the climate.

Thorough, timely, and authoritative, this is the book to consult for answers about some of the thorniest and most pressing environmental questions that we face.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691006918
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 04/15/2002
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 360
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 1.08(d)

Table of Contents

Preface xv

1. Introduction 1

2. Basic Physical Concepts 5

3. Basic Chemical Concepts 19

4. Properties of Water 31

5. Atmospheric History and Composition 39

6. Energy Budget of the Atmosphere 51

7. Vertical Structure of the Atmosphere 63

8. Horizontal Motion of the Atmosphere 79

9. Dynamics of the Ocean 103

10. Climate through the Ages 113

11. The Carbon Cycle 141

12. Cycles of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Sulfur 165

13. Stratospheric Ozone (I): Chapman's Formulation for the Chemistry of an Oxygen-Nitrogen Atmosphere 175

14. Stratospheric Ozone (II): The Role of Radicals 189

15. Stratospheric Ozone (III): Influence of Heterogeneous Chemistry 205

16. Stratospheric Ozone (IV): Influence of Dynamics 221

17. The Chemistry of the Troposphere 231

18. The Chemistry of Precipitation 263

19. Prospects for Climate Change 277

20. Policy Responses to Climate Change 285

Notes 291

References 309

Appendix 317

Index 319

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