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Introductory Climate Science

Global Warming Explained

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Language:  English
The book is a primer for students of the climate. It will also be of use to anyone wishing to understand the science underlying global warming from increasing greenhouse gas concentrations.
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The book is a primer for students of the climate. It will also be of use to anyone wishing to understand the science underlying global warming from increasing greenhouse gas concentrations.

  1. Man-Made Global Warming – an overview
    1. Introduction
    2. Why do greenhouse gases cause global warming?
    3. A simple picture of man-made global warming
    4. The more complete picture
    5. Conclusion
  2. Drivers of the Climate
    1. The difference between weather and climate
    2. Overview of the climate
    3. Heat energy transfer
    4. The Sun
    5. Warming of the Earth’s surface due to greenhouse gases
    6. Conclusion
  3. The Atmosphere
    1. Structure of the atmosphere
    2. Variation of pressure with altitude
    3. Variation of temperature with altitude in the troposphere – the lapse rate
    4. The Stratosphere
    5. The ozone layer
    6. The atmospheric electric circuit
    7. Conclusions
  4. The Principles of Cloud Formation
    1. Introduction
    2. Constituents of clouds
    3. Surface Tension
    4. Vapour pressure
    5. The formation of cloud droplets from CCN
    6. The effect of electric charge on the formation of water droplets
    7. Cosmic rays and cloud formation
    8. The hypothesis that ionization affects cloud formation
    9. Attempts to corroborate the hypothesised connection between cosmic rays and the climate
    10. Conclusions
  5. Energy circulation and monitoring
    1. The seasons
    2. Energy circulation
    3. Coriolis acceleration
    4. The wind direction
    5. Atmospheric circulation
    6. The circulation of the oceans
    7. Monitoring of the oceans and atmosphere
    8. The rising sea level
  6. Absorption of infra-red radiation
    1. Atomic spectra
    2. Molecular spectra
    3. The broadening of spectral lines
    4. Absorption of radiation
    5. The absorbance of the atmosphere
    6. Conclusions
  7. Climate Models
    1. Introduction
    2. Warming of the Earth’s surface by greenhouse gases
    3. The effect of increasing carbon dioxide levels – a simple picture
    4. More complete models of the climate
    5. Radiative Forcing (RF)
    6. Conclusions
  8. Measurement of the average global temperature
    1. Introduction
    2. Determination of the average temperatures from measurements on the Earth’s surface
    3. Measurements from space
    4. Comparison of satellite and surface measurements of the global average temperature
  9. History of the Earth and its climate
    1. Introduction
    2. Formation of the Solar System
    3. The Early Earth
    4. The Phanerozoic Eon starting about million years ago
    5. The last several million years
    6. Conclusion
  10. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
    1. Introduction to the IPCC
    2. Climate Forcings
    3. Components of the scientific task
    4. Climate Modelling
    5. The ‘balancing-out process’
    6. The IPCC Review Process
    7. The IPCC’s caution
    8. The IPCC report AR
    9. Governmental Responses to the IPCC
About the Author

Terry Sloan

The author is Emeritus Professor of Physics at Lancaster University. As well as his teaching work he has done research in particle physics principally at particle accelerators at CERN in Geneva and DESY in Hamburg. Here he has been involved in research to understand the structure of the proton and to test the standard Electroweak model of particle interactions. As part of this he became spokesperson and leader of the European Muon Collaboration (EMC), a large international collaboration at CERN, which discovered the EMC effect in nuclear physics and that only a small fraction of the proton’s spin is carried by its valence quarks. This led to the award of the Rutherford Medal by the UK Institute of Physics. In recent years he has researched the effects of cosmic rays on clouds with the aim of measuring their contribution to global warming. His interests outside his scientific work include ornithology, walking in the countryside and music, singing in two choirs.