An Introduction to Atmospheric Thermodynamics



Thermodynamic principles are part of our understanding of the physical processes at work in the universe. Books on thermodynamics commonly begin with discussions of the basic principles that are the foundation of the discipline and are differentiated by the applications of those principles. There has been a need in recent years for a book that addresses the application of thermodynamics to meteorological problems, especially a book written for undergraduate courses emphasizing the operational aspects of meteorology. Anastasios A. Tsonis has written An Introduction to Atmospheric Thermodynamics to fill this need.

The book is organized in a fairly standard pattern. The first two chapters briefly present a few basic concepts. The next three chapters develop the thermodynamics of dry air (that is, the mixture of gasses in the Earth's atmosphere minus the water vapor) from the empirical gas laws to the concept of entropy Chapters six and seven discuss the thermodynamics of water and moist air, that is, the dry air plus the water vapor. These chapters are followed by consideration of vertical stability and thermodynamic diagrams. The final chapter attempts to link ther modynamics to the larger problem of weather prediction. Most of the chapters conclude with examples and a list of problems.