Atmospheric Science,
Edition 2 An Introductory Survey
By John M. Wallace and Peter V. Hobbs

Publication Date: 01 Feb 2006

Atmospheric Science, Second Edition, is the long-awaited update of the classic atmospheric science text, which helped define the field nearly 30 years ago and has served as the cornerstone for most university curricula. Now students and professionals alike can use this updated classic to understand atmospheric phenomena in the context of the latest discoveries, and prepare themselves for more advanced study and real-life problem solving.

This latest edition of Atmospheric Science, has been revamped in terms of content and appearance. It contains new chapters on atmospheric chemistry, the Earth system, the atmospheric boundary layer, and climate, as well as enhanced treatment of atmospheric dynamics, radiative transfer, severe storms, and global warming. The authors illustrate concepts with full-color, state-of-the-art imagery and cover a vast amount of new information in the field. Extensive numerical and qualitative exercises help students apply basic physical principles to atmospheric problems. There are also biographical footnotes summarizing the work of key scientists, along with a student companion website that hosts climate data; answers to quantitative exercises; full solutions to selected exercises; skew-T log p chart; related links, appendices; and more. The instructor website features: instructor’s guide; solutions to quantitative exercises; electronic figures from the book; plus supplementary images for use in classroom presentations.

Meteorology students at both advanced undergraduate and graduate levels will find this book extremely useful.

Key Features

  • Full-color satellite imagery and cloud photographs illustrate principles throughout
  • Extensive numerical and qualitative exercises emphasize the application of basic physical principles to problems in the atmospheric sciences
  • Biographical footnotes summarize the lives and work of scientists mentioned in the text, and provide students with a sense of the long history of meteorology
  • Companion website encourages more advanced exploration of text topics: supplementary information, images, and bonus exercises
About the author
By John M. Wallace, University of Washington, Seattle, U.S.A. and Peter V. Hobbs, University of Washington, Seattle, U.S.A.
Table of Contents

In Memory of Peter V. Hobbs 1936–2005)

Preface to the Second Edition

Preface to the First Edition

1. Introduction and Overview

1.1 Scope of the Subject and Recent Highlights

1.2 Some Definitions and Terms of Reference

1.3 A Brief Survey of the Atmosphere

1.4 What’s Next?

2. The Earth System

2.1 Components of the Earth System

2.2 The Hydrologic Cycle

2.3 The Carbon Cycle

2.4 Oxygen in the Earth System

2.5 A Brief History of Climate and the Earth System

2.6 Earth: The Habitable Planet

3. Atmospheric Thermodynamics

3.1 Gas Laws

3.2 The Hydrostatic Equation

3.3 The First Law of Thermodynamics15

3.4 Adiabatic Processes

3.5 Water Vapor in Air

3.6 Static Stability

3.7 The Second Law of Thermodynamics and Entropy

4. Radiative Transfer

4.1 The Spectrum of Radiation

4.2 Quantitative Description of Radiation

4.3 Blackbody Radiation

4.4 Physics of Scattering and Absorption and Emission

4.5 Radiative Transfer in Planetary Atmospheres

4.6 Radiation Balance at the Top of the Atmosphere


5. Atmospheric Chemistry

5.1 Composition of Tropospheric Air

5.2 Sources, Transport, and Sinks of Trace Gases

5.3 Some Important Tropospheric Trace Gases

5.4 Tropospheric Aerosols

5.5 Air Pollution

5.6 Tropospheric Chemical Cycles

5.7 Stratospheric Chemistry

6. Cloud Microphysics

6.1 Nucleation of Water Vapor Condensation

6.2 Microstructures of Warm Clouds

6.3 Cloud Liquid Water Content and Entrainment

6.4 Growth of Cloud Droplets in Warm Clouds

6.5 Microphysics of Cold Clouds

6.6 Artificial Modification of Clouds and Precipitation

6.7 Thunderstorm Electrification

6.8 Cloud and Precipitation Chemistry48

7. Atmospheric Dynamics

7.1 Kinematics of the Large-Scale Horizontal Flow

7.2 Dynamics of Horizontal Flow

7.3 Primitive Equations

7.4 The Atmospheric General Circulation

7.5 Numerical Weather Prediction


8. Weather Systems

8.1 Extratropical Cyclones

8.2 Orographic Effects

8.3 Deep Convection

8.4 Tropical Cyclones

9. The Atmospheric Boundary Layer

9.1 Turbulence

9.2 The Surface Energy Balance

9.3 Vertical Structure

9.4 Evolution

9.5 Special Effects

9.6 The Boundary Layer in Context


10. Climate Dynamics

10.1 The Present-Day Climate

10.2 Climate Variability

10.3 Climate Equilibria, Sensitivity, and Feedbacks

10.4 Greenhouse Warming22

10.5 Climate Monitoring and Prediction


Constants and Conversions for Atmospheric Science

Universal Constants


Water Substance

Earth and Sun

Units and Conversions

Abbreviations Used in Captions


International Geophysics Series

Book details
ISBN: 9780127329512
Page Count: 504
Retail Price : £56.99
Houghton: THE PHYSICS OF ATMOSPHERES, 3E, Cambridge (2002, Hardback, 336 pp., ISBN-10: 0521804566/ISBN-13: 9780521804561, $105.00/£60.00)
Andrews: AN INTRODUCTION TO ATMOSPHERIC PHYSICS, Cambridge (2005, Hardback, 240 pp., ISBN-10: 0521620511/ISBN-13; 9780521620512, $90.00/£50.00)
Lutgens/Tarbuck: THE ATMOSPHERE: AN INTRODUCTION TO METEOROLOGY, 9E, Prentice Hall (2003, Hardback, 528 pp., ISBN: 01301015672, $93.33/£45.99)
Instructor Resources
Meteorology students (advanced undergraduate and graduate levels)