This textbook is a first-look at radiative transfer in planetary atmospheres with a particular focus on the Earth's atmosphere and climate. It covers the basics of the radiative transfer of sunlight, treating absorption and scattering, and the transfer of the thermal infrared. The examples included show how the solutions of the radiative transfer equation are used to evaluate changes in the Earth?s energy budget due to changes in atmospheric composition, how these changes lead to climate change, and also how remote sensing can be used to probe the thermal structure and composition of planetary atmospheres. The examples motivate students by leading them to a better understanding of and appreciation for the computer-generated numerical results. Aimed at upper-division undergraduates and beginning graduate students in physics and atmospheric sciences, the book is designed to cover the essence of the material in a 10-week course, while the material in the optional sections will facilitate its use at the more leisurely pace and in-depth focus of a semester course.
About the Author
Professor James Coakley received his degrees in Physics: B.S. (1968) UCLA, and MA (1970) and PhD (1972) Berkeley. He entered the atmospheric sciences in 1972 as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Advanced Study Program at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and stayed at NCAR in various staff scientist positions until moving to Oregon State University in 1988 where he is currently a Professor of Atmospheric Sciences in the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences. His research focuses on the problem of climate change and in particular on the remote sensing of aerosol and cloud properties from satellites, and the effects of aerosols and clouds on the Earth's energy budget and climate. Dr. Coakley is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has served on editorial advisory board for Tellus, as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Geophysical Research, and as Editor for the Journal of Climate. He has also served on various panels for the National Research Council and as a member for two of the Council's standing committees: Meteorological Analysis, Prediction, and Research and Climate Research.
Professor Ping Yang received the B.S. (theoretical physics) and M.S. (atmospheric physics) degrees from Lanzhou, China, in 1985 and 1988, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree in meteorology from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, USA, in 1995. He is currently a professor and the holder of the David Bullock Harris Chair in Geosciences, the Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA. His research interests cover the areas of remote sensing and radiative transfer. He has been actively conducting research in the modeling of the optical and radiative properties of clouds and aerosols, in particular, cirrus clouds, and their applications to space-borne and ground-based remote sensing. He has co-authored more than 160 peer-reviewed publications. He received a best paper award from the Climate and Radiation Branch, NASA Goddard Space Center in 2000, the U.S. National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2003, and the Dean's Distinguished Achievement Award for Faculty Research, College of Geosciences, Texas A&M University in 2004. He is a member of the MODIS Science Team and he currently serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, the Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy & Radiative Transfer, and the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology.