The atmosphere is critical to climate change. It can amplify shifts in the climate system, and also mitigate them. This primer offers a short, reader-friendly introduction to these atmospheric processes and how they work, written by a leading expert on the subject. Giving readers an overview of key atmospheric processes, David Randall looks at how our climate system receives energy from the sun and sheds it by emitting infrared radiation back into space. The atmosphere regulates these radiative energy flows and transports energy through weather systems such as thunderstorms, monsoons, hurricanes, and winter storms. Randall explains how these processes work, and also how precipitation, cloud formation, and other phase changes of water strongly influence weather and climate. He discusses how atmospheric feedbacks affect climate change, how the large-scale atmospheric circulation works, how predicting the weather and the climate are fundamentally different challenges, and much more. This is the ideal introduction for students and nonspecialists. No prior experience in atmospheric science is needed, only basic college physics. Authoritative and concise, Atmosphere, Clouds, and Climate features a glossary of terms, suggestions for further reading, and easy-to-follow explanations of a few key equations. This accessible primer is the essential introduction to atmospheric processes and the vital role they play in our climate system.
This book is open access under a CC BY 4.0 license. This volume presents an Empirical Model of Global Climate developed by the authors and uses that model to show that global warming will likely remain below 2oC, relative to preindustrial, throughout this century provided: a) both the unconditional and conditional Paris INDC commitments are followed; b) the emission reductions needed to achieve the Paris INDCs are carried forward to 2060 and beyond. The first section of the book provides a short overview of Earth’s climate system, describing and contrasting climatic changes throughout the planet’s history and anthropogenic changes post-Industrial Revolution. The second section describes the climate model developed by the authors (Canty et al., Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 2013) and contrasts the model with climate models used in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2013 Report. Chapter 3 examines both the unconditional (i.e., firm commitments) and conditional Paris INDCs (commitments contingent on financial flow and/or technology transfer) through the lens of their climate model and concludes that if all of the Paris INDCs are followed, then they are indeed a beacon of hope for Earth’s climate. The fourth part of the book offers a perspective of energy needs and subsequent emissions reductions required to meet the Paris temperature goals, illuminating challenges faced both in the developing world and the developed world. Throughout the book, easy-to-understand charts and graphics illustrate concepts. The scientific basis of Chapters 2 and 3 was first presented in a keynote session of the 96th Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society in January, 2016.
The 50 Most Topical Events, Measures and Conditions, Each Explained in Half a Minute
Author: Joanna D Haigh
Weather and climate are not the same. Weather is what occurs outdoors on a daily basis and is unpredictable from one week to the next, whereas climate follows a stable pattern that is developed over centuries. The planet is divided into climate zones--tropical, temperate and polar--based on temperature differences with distance from the equator where the sun is most intense and temperature affects humidity, precipitation, cloudiness and wind. To understand what drives our climate, scientists study the atmosphere, the oceans, biosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere. 30-Second Climate is an immediately accessible guide to the 50 key factors affecting Earth's climate, past, present and future, each explained in half a minute. From atmospheric circulation to zero carbon, this is the quickest way to know your planet.
This concise, sophisticated introduction to planetary climates explains the global physical and chemical processes that determine climate on any planet or major planetary satellite--from Mercury to Neptune and even large moons such as Saturn's Titan. Although the climates of other worlds are extremely diverse, the chemical and physical processes that shape their dynamics are the same. As this book makes clear, the better we can understand how various planetary climates formed and evolved, the better we can understand Earth's climate history and future.
The Earth's climate system depends entirely on the Sun for its energy. Solar radiation warms the atmosphere and is fundamental to atmospheric composition, while the distribution of solar heating across the planet produces global wind patterns and contributes to the formation of clouds, storms, and rainfall. The Sun’s Influence on Climate provides an unparalleled introduction to this vitally important relationship. This accessible primer covers the basic properties of the Earth’s climate system, the structure and behavior of the Sun, and the absorption of solar radiation in the atmosphere. It explains how solar activity varies and how these variations affect the Earth’s environment, from long-term paleoclimate effects to century timescales in the context of human-induced climate change, and from signals of the 11-year sunspot cycle to the impacts of solar emissions on space weather in our planet’s upper atmosphere. Written by two of the leading authorities on the subject, The Sun’s Influence on Climate is an essential primer for students and nonspecialists alike.