## The Physics of AtmospheresIn this acclaimed textbook, John Houghton provides a comprehensive and concise description of the physical processes governing the structure and the circulation of the atmosphere. Completely revised and updated, the third edition contains much new and expanded material. New chapters have been introduced on topics of strong contemporary interest such as Chaos and Predictability and Climate Change. The chapters on global observations (especially through remote sensing) and numerical modeling have also been substantially extended. Like its predecessors, which received excellent reviews, this new edition will be an essential textbook for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in meteorology, atmospheric physics, remote sensing, climate science, environmental science, and planetary science. Researchers and professionals in atmospheric physics and meteorology will also find it an excellent and up-to-date review of their subject. |

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### Contents

Some basic ideas | 1 |

13 Hydrostatic equation | 3 |

14 Adiabatic lapse rate | 4 |

15 Sandstroms theorem | 5 |

Problems | 7 |

A radiative equilibrium model | 9 |

22 Absorption and emission | 10 |

23 Radiative equilibrium in a grey atmosphere | 12 |

102 A symmetric circulation | 147 |

103 Inertial instability | 152 |

104 Barotropic instability | 153 |

105 Baroclinic instability | 154 |

106 Sloping convection | 158 |

107 Energy transport | 159 |

108 Transport of angular momentum | 161 |

109 The general circulation of the middle atmosphere | 162 |

24 Radiative time constants | 15 |

Problems | 17 |

Thermodynamics | 19 |

32 Vertical motion of saturated air | 20 |

33 The tephigram | 22 |

34 Total potential energy of an air column | 24 |

36 Zonal and eddy energy | 29 |

Problems | 30 |

More complex radiation transfer | 39 |

42 Absorption of solar radiation by ozone | 40 |

43 Absorption by single lines | 41 |

44 Transmission of an atmospheric path | 44 |

45 The integral equation of transfer | 45 |

46 Integration over frequency | 47 |

47 Heating rate due to radiative processes | 48 |

49 Band models | 49 |

410 Continuum absorption | 50 |

Problems | 52 |

The middle and upper atmospheres | 58 |

52 Diffusive separation | 60 |

53 The escape of hydrogen | 61 |

54 The energy balance of the thermosphere | 65 |

55 The photodissociation of oxygen | 66 |

56 Photochemical processes | 67 |

57 Breakdown of thermodynamic equilibrium | 72 |

Problems | 78 |

Clouds | 82 |

62 The growth of cloud particles | 83 |

63 The radiative properties of clouds | 84 |

64 Radiative transfer in clouds | 86 |

65 Cloud radiation feedback | 88 |

Problems | 89 |

Dynamics | 93 |

72 Equations of motion | 94 |

73 The geostrophic approximation | 97 |

74 Cyclostrophic motion | 98 |

75 Surfaces of constant pressure | 99 |

76 The thermal wind equation | 100 |

77 The equation of continuity | 101 |

Problems | 102 |

Atmospheric waves | 110 |

83 Gravity waves | 111 |

84 Rossby waves | 116 |

85 The vorticity equation | 118 |

86 Threedimensional Rossbytype waves | 120 |

Problems | 122 |

Turbulence | 131 |

92 Reynolds stresses | 132 |

93 Ekmans solution | 134 |

94 The mixinglength hypothesis | 136 |

95 Ekman pumping | 137 |

96 The spectrum of atmospheric turbulence | 138 |

Problems | 141 |

The general circulation | 145 |

Problems | 168 |

Numerical modelling | 173 |

112 Baroclinic models | 174 |

113 Primitive equation models | 176 |

114 Parametrizations | 177 |

116 Inclusion of orography | 180 |

118 Sub grid scale processes | 185 |

119 Moist processes and clouds | 186 |

1110 Convection | 187 |

1111 Transfer across the surface | 189 |

1112 Forecast model skill | 190 |

Problems | 192 |

Global observation | 198 |

122 In situ observations | 199 |

124 Radar and lidar observations from the surface | 200 |

125 Remote sounding from satellites | 201 |

theory | 204 |

127 Instruments for remote temperature sounding | 210 |

I | 215 |

129 Other remote sounding observations from space | 220 |

1210 Observations from remote platforms | 221 |

Problems | 224 |

Chaos and atmospheric predictability | 229 |

132 The Lorenz attractor | 230 |

133 Model predictability | 231 |

134 Variations in forecast skill | 234 |

136 Model improvements | 236 |

137 Jupiters Great Red Spot | 238 |

Problems | 240 |

Climate and climate change | 242 |

142 Variations of climate over the past millennium | 243 |

143 The ice ages | 246 |

144 Influence of the ocean boundary | 248 |

145 Human influences on climate | 250 |

146 The enhanced greenhouse effect | 255 |

147 Feedback processes | 260 |

148 Modelling climate change | 262 |

149 Observations of climate | 265 |

1410 Dynamical response to external forcing | 266 |

1411 The impacts of climate change | 269 |

Problems | 270 |

Appendices | 275 |

2 Properties of water vapour | 276 |

3 Atmospheric composition | 277 |

4 Relation of geopotential to geometric height | 278 |

6 Mean reference atmosphere 110500 km | 287 |

8 Solar radiation | 289 |

9 Absorption by ozone in the ultraviolet | 290 |

299 | |

301 | |

Answers to problems and hints to their solution | 307 |

313 | |

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### Common terms and phrases

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