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  • Book
  • © 2001

Fundamentals of Physics and Chemistry of the Atmosphere


  • Atmosphere is seen and dealt with as part of the Earth system (climate models, biogeochemical cycles etc.) Contains solutions with computer models (worked out examples)

  • Computer models are available from the author

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Table of contents (19 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xviii
  2. Introduction

    • Guido Visconti
    Pages 1-17
  3. Thermodynamics of the Atmosphere

    • Guido Visconti
    Pages 19-37
  4. Radiation: The First Steps

    • Guido Visconti
    Pages 39-61
  5. Origin and Evolution of the Atmospheres

    • Guido Visconti
    Pages 63-89
  6. The First Laws of Motion

    • Guido Visconti
    Pages 91-112
  7. A Few Simple Applications

    • Guido Visconti
    Pages 113-133
  8. The Atmospheric Motions

    • Guido Visconti
    Pages 135-163
  9. The Planetary Boundary layer

    • Guido Visconti
    Pages 165-192
  10. Aerosols and Clouds

    • Guido Visconti
    Pages 193-217
  11. Waves in the Atmosphere

    • Guido Visconti
    Pages 219-243
  12. The Data on the Atmospheric Circulation

    • Guido Visconti
    Pages 245-262
  13. Radiation for Different Uses

    • Guido Visconti
    Pages 301-333
  14. Simple Climate Models

    • Guido Visconti
    Pages 335-358
  15. The Application of the Simple Climate Models

    • Guido Visconti
    Pages 359-391
  16. Chemistry of the Troposphere

    • Guido Visconti
    Pages 393-429
  17. Dynamics of the Middle Atmosphere

    • Guido Visconti
    Pages 431-468
  18. Stratospheric Chemistry

    • Guido Visconti
    Pages 469-505
  19. Chaos in the Atmosphere

    • Guido Visconti
    Pages 507-524

About this book

This book originates from the translation of an Italian textbook on the physics and chemistry of the atmosphere. The idea for this earlier effort came to me after I published, in 1989, "L' Atmosfera", a popular science book. A few years later I discovered, to my great surprise, that it was adopted as a textbook by a few univer­ sities or university courses. The publication of the book coincided with the intro­ duction in Italy of a university curriculum on Environmental Science and a partial reform of the physics curriculum that allows the teaching of courses like Atmos­ pheric Physics, Meteorology and Environmental Physics. This convinced me to adapt the popular book to a full textbook although the effort turned out to be a much harder job than I thought. The content of the present book is not simply the translation from the Italian be­ cause it has been largely rewritten. Still, it contains basically what I have been teaching in my courses of Atmospheric Physics and Geophysics in the last twenty years. In doing that I have looted many "sacred texts". These may be divided into two categories: there are those like the book by J. M. Wall ace and P. V. Hobbs (see references) wh ich deal mostly with thermodynamics, radiation and dynamics at an elementary level and those like the book by 1. Holton, J. Pedlosky, A. Gill, K. Liu, etc. which are mostly professional texts and in some cases very specific.


  • Aerosol
  • Atmospheric circulation
  • Climatology
  • Cloud
  • Earth system science
  • Physics of the atmosphere
  • Troposphere
  • environmental sciences
  • meteorology
  • air pollution and air quality


From the reviews:

"The book deserves a particularly positive appreciation in view not only of its inherent quality and scientific rigour, but also of the bright idea of the Author to merge, into a unified context, the description of the laws of atmosphere as a result of otherwise inseparable elements … . this book is deeply recommended as useful and all-embracing textbook of university courses of atmospheric physics and chemistry. Its original planning will certainly stimulate the attention of students and readers … ." (A. Longretto, Il Nuovo Cimento, January, 2003)

"A large part of the text is dedicated to atmospheric dynamics. Radiation, climate and chemistry are treated each in two chapters. As given in the preface, the book originated from an 1989 italian popular science book and was eventually rewritten as a textbook along the lectures of the author in Environmental Science. … This book … offers a grand tour through a complex field." (C. Kessler, Meteorologische Zeitschrift, Vol. 12 (1), 2003)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Department of Physics, University of Aquila, Coppito, L’ Aquila, Italy

    Guido Visconti

Bibliographic Information

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