UCL Logo MSSL Lecture Resources

Terrestrial and Planetary Atmospheres

Lecturer : Professor Alan Johnstone (adj@nojunk-removethis-mssl.ucl.ac.uk)

The route to this page is via this URL

Syllabus, booklist and backup resources...

  1. Comparitive Planetary Atmospheres
  2. Analysis of the physics required to retain an atmosphere

  3. Important Attributes in Determining Planetary Atmospheres (?)
  4. Factors (energy balances, surface processes, loss processes, dynamics) influencing the above equations).

  5. Atmospheric Structures
  6. Hydrostatic equations, Adiabatic lapse rate, Radiative Transfer, The Greenhouse Effect.

  7. Ozone Layer and Chemistry
  8. Understandably this topic has a lot of WWW resources devoted to it, there are polar plots showing the holes at various times . A good page of chemical process explainations, current situation reports, and theories is provided at Goddard . Goddard also provides an historical context.

    The current state of the ozone situation is reported by the Greenpeace environmental organisation, and there is a list of Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQs ) related to the Antartic Ozone hole, the ozone layer, stratospheric chlorine and bromine + UV effects and is pretty comprehensive. Cambridge University has a page that links to British Antarctic Survey (BAS) reports of the situation, a monthly variations chart, and TOMS images of the Northern and Southern hemispheres (via the Univ. Reading link rather than the other (Maryland ?) that doesn't work). Finally another couple of TOMS images are available via the ICAIR page which also has a comprehensive article on ozone loss and a monthly variations chart.

  9. Atmospheric Temperature Profiles
  10. Layers in the Earths Atmosphere (Troposhere, Stratosphere, Mesosphere, Ionosphere. Like-wise for Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

  11. Origin of Terrestrial Atmospheres
  12. Composition of the atmosphere's of the planets, potential theories of atmospheric sources, planetary formation.

  13. Evolution of Atmospheres
  14. Earth, Venusian, Martian atmospheric evolution.

  15. Wet Air
  16. Entropy, vertical air motion, hydrostatic equation for wet air, cloud formation. Droplet growth, thunder.

  17. Atmospheric dynamics
  18. Equations of motion in a rotating frame of motion, winds, pressure systems, circulation systems, comparison of the planets, model of the weather on Mars today.

  19. Ionospheres
  20. Ionization layers (D, E, F1, F2), recombination, Chapman layer, Earth, Venus & Mars.

  21. Magnetospheres
  22. Solar Wind, Plasma, Parker Spiral, Non-magnetic/ magnetic body, presure balance, Electric fields, Radiation Belts, Aurorae.

  23. Atmospheric Loss Mechanisms
  24. Thermal Escape (Jeans escape mechanism), Non-thermal mechanisms, Ion escape, electric fields.

  25. Observational Techniques
  26. How is information obtained ? Ground, balloon, sounding rockets, Satellite instrumentation, remote sensing, occultation.

  27. Global Warming
  28. Is the planet warming up ? Human Activity, Oceanic Reservoirs, Consequences, Feedback mechanisms.

Terrestrial and Planetary Atmospheres - Book List