Climatology: An Atmospheric Science (2nd Edition)

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9780130922052: Climatology: An Atmospheric Science (2nd Edition)

Recent climatic changes (e.g., global warming, El Niño) have brought climate to the forefront of popular science. Climatology: An Atmospheric Science, Second Edition explains the science behind these widely publicized events within the systematic coverage of climate and climatology. In addition, readers will gain an appreciation of the impact climate has on life as well as the basic processes that operate in the atmosphere. Covers Physical And Dynamic Climatology; Regional Climatology; Past And Future Climates; Applied Climatology; and more. For readers interested in science, climatology, or weather.

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The years since the publication of first edition of Climatology have been of major significance in the development of the discipline: It has now passed from a rather academic pursuit to a widely known area of study. Climatic change and global warming have become common terms, and there are few global processes that have received as much media coverage as El Nino and La Nina. Associated with the wide coverage of climatic phenomena is the remarkable growth of the World Wide Web (WWW) and its attendant multitude of home pages dealing with weather and climate.

Although these developments have brought climate to the forefront of popular science, such an awareness is fraught with potential problems, not the least of which is sorting out fact from speculation in the printed word and website. Unfortunately, the ready availability of climatic data often results in the use of data without the necessary rigor of appropriate statistical methods and misconceptions unwittingly arise.

It is within such a framework that we have prepared this second edition. Although part of the original content has been retained, the following changes are noted.

  • A chapter on statistical methods has been included. This is located at the end of the content (chap. 20), yet it can be introduced and used at any juncture. The study of climatology does require statistical analysis, and various basic methods are described.
  • We have added a section on applied climatology. In the limited confines of an introductory text, it is not possible to cover all components of a given area of study, and we have made no attempt to be comprehensive. However, the addition of this section will, we hope, provide the basis for further studies in the ways in which climate influences everyday life.
  • An expanded section on oceans and atmosphere/ ocean interactions is included in a new chapter. Both historic and recent events are dealt with.
  • The treatment of recent climatic change and global warming is expanded to include the basic chemistry involved and the potential impacts of change.
  • End of chapter material has been added. Key terms are listed and defined in an expanded glossary. Straightforward review questions are also given.
  • We have made a conscious effort to retain both the literary and scientific components of the study of climate. To complete the latter without interrupting the text flow, some quantitative expressions are included as boxes in selected chapters. These provide a ready reference should readers require a more formal explanation of aspects described in the text.
  • Although the authors encourage the use of the Internet, with but a few exceptions (such as the National Climate Center), we do not promote any particular sites. However, it is of consequence to use climate data and knowledge, and we recommend use of the Laboratory Manual designed to accompany this text. Selected web data sources are located in that source.

The authors wish to acknowledge all those who have helped determine the content and provided useful input into this revised work such as Richard W. Dixon, Southwest Texas State University; Mark L. Hildebrandt, Southern Illinois University; Karl K. Leiker, Westfield State College; David McGinnis, University of Iowa; Donald L. Morgan, Bringham Young University; Jan Westerik, Concord College. We are especially indebted to our wives, Loretta and Suzanne, for both their patience and support.

John E. Oliver
John J. Hidore

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