A First Course in Atmospheric Thermodynamics – G.W. Petty

A First Course in Atmospheric Thermodynamics – G.W. Petty

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This textbook is written for meteorology majors who require an initial introduction to the physical properties of the atmosphere and to the essential principles and real-world applications of atmospheric thermodynamics. These topics are supplemented by a sampling of techniques and technologies related to atmospheric measurements and observations. A unique tutorial, included as an appendix,  teaches students how to attack physical problems symbolically,  deferring numerical calculations until the final step in the solution. The author’s overall objectives include not only covering the traditional core subject matter of an undergraduate thermodynamics course but also facilitating students’ transition from a purely abstract understanding of calculus and physics concepts to the confident application of both to the science of meteorology.

About the author

Grant W. Petty is a professor  in the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he teaches atmospheric physics, atmospheric radiation and remote sensing to  undergraduate  and graduate  students. A former shipboard and aviation weather observer in the U.S. Navy and a private pilot, he brings a uniquely practical perspective to the subject of this book. He is also the author of A First Course in Atmospheric Radiation.



  • First Edition, 1st printing (no string of numbers appears above the copyright date on the copyright page)
  • First Edition, 2nd printing ( "10 9 8 7… 3 2" appears above the copyright date – last digit indicates printing number)
  • First Edition, 3rd printing (due to a printing error, the copyright page is identical to that for the 2nd printing)
    Note: Errors noted for later printings usually also exist in the earlier editions or printings, even if they are not noted in the earlier errata pages.

Resources for instructors and students

  • Problem solutions (instructors only): To receive a complete set of problem solutions, send e-mail to sales@sundogpublishing.com. In your message, be sure to identify the course and campus for which you are the instructor and include complete contact information
  • High-quality downloadable Skew-T diagrams for general use and for use in selected exercises in the book. These can be printed in color or black and white on 8.5x11 paper.

Author: Grant W. Petty
Binding: Paperpack
Publisher: Sundog Publishing
Publication Date: May 2008
ISBN-13: 978-0-9729033-2-5