NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
An Introduction to Atmospheric Radiation: Review for the Bulletin of AMSWhether you like a certain geophysical book or not, largely depends on your background. The field of radiative transfer and atmospheric radiation, in particular, combines people with a wide range of mathematical skills: from theoretical astrophysicists and nuclear physicists to meteorologists and ecologists. There is always a delicate balance between physical explanations and their mathematical interpretations. This balance is very personal and is based on your background. I came to the field of atmospheric radiative transfer as a mathematician with little knowledge of atmospheric physics. After being in the field for more than a decade, I still have gaps in my atmospheric science education. Thus I assess a radiative transfer book fi-om two main criteria: how well does it describe the material that is familiar to me (the radiative transfer equation and its numerical solutions) and how well does it help me to fill the gaps in my personal knowledge. So I present this review fi-om the perspective of a former mathematician working in the field of atmospheric radiation. . After being asked to review the book, my first intention was to compare the new edition with the previous one (Liou, 1980). In doing so, you can clearly follow the progress made in the field of atmospheric radiation over the past two decades. If there are few changes (as in Fundamental Radiative Transfer) or no changes at all (as in the Maxwell s equations), then the field has not seen much development. To the contrary, many differences between the two editions illustrate areas of major progress in the field, such as evidenced in Thermal Ineared Radiative Transfer and even in the creations of completely new fields like Three-Dimensional Radiative Transfer or Light Scattering by Nonspherical Particles. Obviously, the major changes happened not in the theory, which is at least half a century old, but in data quality and completely new measurements (mostly due to new satellite data) with higher accuracy and more reliability. The new edition illustrates this progress well.
Document ID
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Marshak, Alexander (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2003
Subject Category
Space Radiation
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
Document Inquiry