A First Course in Atmospheric Radiation

Review Atmospheric Physics


Brief book review

Introductory book to the Physics of Radiation, with emphasis on atmospheric related applications. It contains a good selection of exercises and it was written with an easy to read style. The general approach of the writer aims to motivate the concepts before present the formalism, which is a good approach for those students less devote of mathematical physics which still want to understand the key concepts of radiative theory applied to atmospheric sciences.

This book of G.W. Petty about Atmospheric Radiation, while it is an introductory book contains almost every topic that a university student or young researcher may need. Just I missed a more detailed further reading section to better guide to the reader on specific applications/extensions to the core field.

The previous knowledge needed to follow the book is just the typical mathematical skills, and a capacity to follow ech physical reasoning of the author. But the book doesn’t rely too much on Electromagnetic Theory or Optics physics, that are used at the beginning of the book to explain the nature of the light and to introduce the main concepts to be explained in detail in the rest of the book. The book, as usual in this field, covers the phenomena of absorption, emission and scattering of light, which always are described focused on atmospheric radiation applications. Even, equations for multiple scattering radiation transfer theory are included, together with the typical Legendre Polynomial based expansion of the Phase Function, but probably additional information would need for those readers most interested on the mathematical side of radiative transfer theory. The practical problem of deal with line by line calculation, together with the k-correlation approach to solve it (partially) is successfully, and very intuitively, explained. In general the goal of the author of explain to the reader the way of reasoning on atmospheric radiation is nicely achieved.

The readers interested on remote sensing by satellite, in subjects like atmospheric chemistry, or cloud physics without a previous background on this applications will find very useful have this book close in the working desk.