Understanding Weather and Climate (2nd Edition)

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9780130273949: Understanding Weather and Climate (2nd Edition)

For courses in Introductory Meteorology and Meteorology, for Non-Science majors.This meteorology text focuses on explanation about--rather than description of--the processes that produce Earth's weather and climate. It emphasizes a non-mathematical understanding of physical principles as a vehicle for learning about atmospheric processes. Additionally, difficult-to-visualize topics are reinforced with a series of software tutorials presented on a CD-ROM packaged with the book.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap:


Meteorology is perhaps the most dynamic of all the earth sciences. In no other sphere do events routinely unfold so quickly, with so great a potential impact on humans. Some of the most striking atmospheric disturbances (such as tornadoes) can take place over time scales on the order of minutes—but nevertheless have permanent consequences. Wind speeds of several hundred kilometers per hour accompany the most violent storms, and large-scale extreme events with attendant widespread destruction are common. Furthermore, even the most mundane of atmospheric phenomena influence our lives on a daily basis (for instance, the beauty of blue skies or red sunsets, rain, the daily cycle of temperature).

Atmospheric processes, despite their immediacy on a personal level and their importance in human affairs on a larger level, are not readily understood by most people. This is probably not surprising, given that the atmosphere consists primarily of invisible gases along with suspended, frequently microscopic particles, water droplets, and ice crystals. In this book, our overriding goal is to bridge the gap between abstract explanatory processes and the expression of those processes in everyday events. We have written the book so that students with little or no science background will be able to build a nonmathematical understanding of the atmosphere.

That said, we do not propose to abandon the foundations of physical science. We know from our own teaching experience that physical laws and principles can be mastered by students of widely varying backgrounds. In addition, we believe one of meteorology's great advantages is that reasoning from fundamental principles explains so much of the field. Compared to some other disciplines, this is one in which there is an enormous payoff for mastering a relatively small number of basic ideas.

Finally, our experience is that students are always excited to learn the "why" of things, and to do so gives real meaning to "what" and "where." For us, therefore, the idea of forsaking explanation in favor of a purely descriptive approach has no appeal whatsoever. Rather, we propose merely to replace mathematical proof (corroboration by formal argument) with qualitative reasoning and appeal to everyday occurrences. As the title implies, the goal remains understanding atmospheric behavior.

Understanding Weather and Climate is a college-level text intended for both science majors and non-majors taking their first course in atmospheric science. We have attempted to write a text that is informative, timely, engaging to students and easily used by professors. Distinguishing Features

Scientific Literacy and Currency. We have emphasized scientific literacy throughout the book. This emphasis gives students an opportunity to build a deeper understanding about the building blocks of atmospheric science and serves as tacit instruction regarding the workings of all the sciences. For instance, in Chapter 2 we cover the molecular changes that occur when radiation is absorbed or emitted, items that are often considered a "given" in introductory texts. In Chapter 3 these basic ideas are used to help build student understanding of why individual gases radiate and absorb particular wavelengths of radiation and illustrate how processes operating at a subatomic level can manifest: themselves at global scales.

An emphasis on scientific literacy can be effectively implemented only if it is accompanied by careful attention to currency. We believe that two kinds of currency are required in a text: an integration of current events as they relate to the topic at hand, and an integration of current scientific thinking. For instance, the reader will find discussion of both recent hurricane activity and the most recent theories regarding the mechanisms that generate severe storms. Scientific literacy also calls for attention to language—after all, precision of language is an important distinguishing characteristic of science; one that sets it apart from other intellectual activities. With that in mind, we have tried to avoid some common statements of dubious accuracy, such as "warm air is able to hold more water vapor than cold air," or "radiation emitted by the surface is absorbed and reradiated by the atmosphere."

Media. A fundamental feature of this book is the integration of the classic textbook model with the emerging areas of instructional technology These nontraditional resources are delivered through the CD provided with the book and via the Internet. The software on the accompanying CD consists of several components. Perhaps most fundamental to our approach, the CD features eight computer tutorials covering basic principles of atmospheric science. The software modules have undergone considerable testing and have been used successfully by thousands of students. They rely heavily on three-dimensional diagrams and animations to present material not easily visualized using conventional media. In choosing topics for the modules, we have emphasized material that is both difficult to master and has the potential to benefit from computer technology. We made no attempt to cover every chapter in the modules.

The software modules follow a tutorial style, with explanations and new vocabulary introduced incrementally, building on what was presented earlier in the modules and what was presented in the text. The tutorials are best used as a supplement to assigned readings. Students and professors will notice that the book and the tutorials are linked. First, the tutorials are described in Media Enrichment sections found at the end of every chapter. In addition, CD icons in the book margins indicate that the topic under discussion is covered in a tutorial as well. A numeric subtitle indicates the section of the tutorial covering that topic. For example, the icon at left indicates tutorial 2, section 2, subsection 1. We advise that you first view a tutorial in its entirety. If additional review is needed, you can use the section number to move directly to the section under discussion. The tutorials are also linked back to the text. The icon shown at left (taken from a tutorial) is used to locate places where the book provides more detailed or background information about the topic at hand.

In addition to the tutorials, the CD for the second edition of the book has been expanded to include other useful resources. These additions include:

Weather in Motion movies, depicting events and phenomena discussed in the text. Examples include a year-long satellite movie showing clouds and temperature across the globe, three-dimensional simulations of thunderstorm development, and animations depicting variations in Earth's orbit. Like the tutorials, each movie is described in the Media Enrichment section at the end of every chapter. Weather Images, providing additional illustration of weather phenomena. These include photographs, satellite images, and computer diagrams complementing the text. Each is described in a Media Enrichment section. Media Library resources, consisting of additional images, movies, and animations. These are intended for self-guided browsing by the student, and are there-, fore not explicitly mentioned in the text. A short description of each is found on the CD. Interactive Exercises, which are short activities produced by Gregory J. Carbone of the University of South Carolina. These modules cover important topics, such as hurricanes and Earth-Sun relations, and are described in the Media Enrichment sections. Expanded versions of the modules are presented with The Lab Manual for Atmospheric Science by Gregory J. Carbone, which is available at a discount when packaged with this book.

The Internet site prenhall/aguado includes review exercises, quantitative exercises, and other materials that allow users to query the Internet for timely atmospheric data and the ability to file one's exercise electronically. Instructors may choose to annotate and return exercises by computer or may prefer to simply grade from screen copy. (Of course, print functions are available as well for those requiring paper copy.)

We should emphasize that although the computer resources are tightly integrated with the book, a computer-equipped lab is not required. All of the resources have been designed for stand-alone use, without supervision by an instructor or TA. Extensive knowledge of computers is not assumed for either instructors or students. We must also emphasize that the computer applications described above are intended to supplement rather than replace the more traditional teaching tools. In fact, the book is written so that instructors who choose not to use computers at all can assign the text without needing to supply any "missing" information or alternate activities.

Instructor Flexibility. During the writing process, we have enjoyed interacting with many of our colleagues who teach courses in weather and climate on a regular basis. It was especially interesting to see how little consensus exists regarding topic order (truth be told, the authors of this book don't agree on the optimal sequence). With this in mind, we tried to minimize the degree to which individual chapters spend on material presented earlier. Thus, instructors who prefer a chapter order different than the one we ultimately chose will not be disadvantaged.

Readability. In contrast to the more formal scientific style used in many science textbooks, we have chosen to adopt more casual prose. Our goal is to present the material in language that is clear, readable, and friendly to the student reader. We employ frequent headings and subheadings to help students follow discussions and identify the most important ideas in each chapter. As a rule, we keep technical language to a minimum.

Focus on Learning. Each chapter offers a number of study aids:

Key Terms. Key terms in each chapter are printed in boldface when first introduced. Most are also listed at the end of each chapter, along with the page on which each first appears. All key terms are defined in the glossary at the end of the book. Focus on the Environment Boxes. These boxes highlight environmental issues as they relate to the study of the atmosphere. Physical Principles Boxes. More mathematical in nature than the rest of the text, these boxes accommodate students who have a more quantitative interest in the topic. An understanding of the material in these boxes is not essential to an understanding of the material presented in the body of the text. Special Interest Boxes. These boxes highlight interesting topics related to the discussion at hand. Chapter Summary. Each chapter concludes with a chapter summary that highlights the main points in the chapter. Review Questions. At the end of each chapter, you will find a list of questions about the subject of that chapter. These review questions test reading comprehension and can be answered from information presented in the chapter. Quantitative Problems. The Understanding Weather and Climate Web site features quantitative exercises to accompany each chapter. If you choose to work these problems, the computer will grade them and provide you with immediate feedback. Software Tutorial Icons. Throughout the book, the software icons (see list above) will appear where the topic under discussion is reviewed in the tutorial modules that accompany the book. We suggest that you use the tutorial if you are having trouble understanding this topic using the text alone. Supplements

The authors and publisher have been pleased to work with a number of talented people to produce an excellent supplements package for the text. This package includes the traditional materials that students and professors have come to expect 'from authors and publishers, as well as some new kinds of supplements that involve electronic media.

For the Student

Integrated CD Resources. The CD includes software tutorials that are explicitly linked to the book. They contain interactive exercises, animations, three-dimensional diagrams, and review quizzes. As mentioned, the tutorials cover the most difficult material presented. In addition, the CD contains Weather in Motion animations, Weather Images, Interactive Exercises, and the Media Library, as described previously. Internet Support. The Understanding Weather and Climate Web site gives students the opportunity to further explore the book's topics using the Internet. The site contains numerous review exercises (from which students get immediate feedback), exercises to expand one's understanding of atmospheric science, and resources for further exploration. Please visit the site at prenhall/aguado Science on the Internet. A Student's Guide (0-13-028253-7). This unique resource helps students locate and explore the myriad geoscience resources on the Internet. It also provides an overview of the Internet, general navigation strategies, and brief student activities. It is available FREE when packaged with the text. Study Guide (0-13-027687-1). Written in conjunction with the authors by experienced educators, Robert Rohli and Thomas Schmidlin, the study guide helps students identify the important points from the text and then provides them with review exercises, study questions, self-check exercises, and vocabulary review. Rand McNally Atlas of World Geography (0-13-959339-X). This atlas includes 126 pages of up-to-date regional maps and 20 pages of illustrated world information tables. It is available FREE when packaged with Understanding Weather and Climate. Please contact your local Prentice Hall representative for details.

For the Professor

Transparencies (0-13-027691-X). More than 125 full-color acetates of illustrations from the text are available free of charge to qualified adopters. Digital Graphic Files and Lecture Presentation Software (0-13-027685-5). This CD contains several hundred images from the book in high-resolution digital format for those professors who would like to use Powerpoint or a similar presentation program for their lectures. In addition, the CD includes lecture presentation software containing animations and images extracted from the tutorials. Arranged and indexed by topic, it allows instructors to move quickly between resources without displaying the text and review quizzes found in the tutorials. This powerful presentation tool is available at no cost to qualified adopters of the text. The New York Times Themes of the Times—Geography. This unique newspaper-format supplement features recent articles about geography from the pages of the New York Times. This supplement, available at no extra charge from your local Prentice Hall representative, encourages students to make connections between the classroom and the world around them. Instructor's Manual. The instructor's manual, intended as a resource for both new and experienced instructors, includes a variety of lecture outlines, answers to the end-of-chapter exercises, additional source materials, teaching tips, advice about how to integrate visual supplements, and various other ideas for the classroom. Test Item File. An extensive array of test questions accompanies the book. These questions are available in hard copy (0-13-027680-4) and also on disks formatted for Windows (0-13-0276839) and Macintosh (0-13-027684-7).

From the Back Cover:

  • Tutorials, three-dimensional diagrams and animations ease the presentation of difficult-to-visualize material. Topics include: —Solar Geometry
  • —Atmospheric Moisture —The Coriolis Force —Wind and Pressure Aloft —Global Energy Balance —Adiabatic Processes —Atmosheric Forces and Motion —Cyclones and Anticyclones —Weather in Motion movies, depict events and phenomena discussed in the text.
  • Weather Images, provide additional illustrations of weather phenomena. These include photographs, satellite images, and computer diagrams that complement the text.
  • Media Library provides additional resources for self-guided browsing by the student.
  • Student Activities are short interactive exercises. These exercises cover important topics such as hurricanes and earth-sun relations and are prefaced by the Media Enrichment boxes included in the text.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Edward Aguado; James E. Burt; James Burt
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ISBN 10: 0130273945 ISBN 13: 9780130273949
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Aguado, Edward, Burt, James E., Burt, Ja
Published by Prentice Hall College Div (2000)
ISBN 10: 0130273945 ISBN 13: 9780130273949
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
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