Fundamentals of atmospheric modeling

Fundamentals of atmospheric modeling
Mark Jacobson
Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press | 2005 | 828pp | ?45.00 (HB) | ISBN 0521548659
Reviewed by Steve Arnold

The second edition of Mark Jacobson’s Fundamentals of atmospheric modeling, comes at a time when interest in atmospheric modelling is at an all time high. From large-scale issues such as climate change and surface air quality, to weather forecasts for a summer barbeque, we are all users of atmospheric models - or at least their output. With the air quality and climate arguments gaining pace, more scientists - in many cases chemists - will find themselves involved with, or at least needing to understand the capabilities and limitations, of atmospheric models.

 Enhanced computing capabilities now allow studies such as those that couple chemistry and climate, meaning that these models are becoming increasingly complex. In addition, they are also increasingly referred to in policy, popular science and the press. 

Jacobson attempts to blend the wide-ranging flavours of the highly interdisciplinary field of atmospheric science, into digestible principles and concepts, while describing methods for their application in numerical models.

Doesn’t sound too appetising? Well, fortunately, despite the emphasis on the application of principles in atmospheric models, this is not written as a straightforward recipe book. Each topic is presented with detailed discussion, drawing on a wealth of referenced, up-to-date literature, as well as more applied, detailed mathematical treatment. This makes the text valuable as both a resource for conceptual understanding of the state of the art and as a reference for the mathematical representation of atmospheric processes. 

The text addresses a broad range of concepts relevant to modelling of atmospheric chemistry, aerosols, dynamics and radiation. 

While certainly not intended for the casual reader or general science audience, this book is more than worthy of a place on the ’well thumbed’ shelf of any graduate student or professional involved with atmospheric science.