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

For meteorology and climatology students who require an introduction to the principles and practical consequences of atmospheric radiation.



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By Grant W. Petty

Second Edition

This textbook is written for meteorology and climatology students who require an introduction to the principles and practical consequences of atmospheric radiation but who do not necessarily intend to become specialists in radiation or remote sensing. Its objective is to foster an understanding of “how radiation works” and to provide a solid conceptual and mathematical foundation for further study.

The author introduces new material in a progressive, logical sequence, starting with simple real-world problems in radiative transfer and adding depth and sophistication with each subsequent chapter. Wherever possible, radiative transfer concepts are illustrated with examples taken from everyday experience. Exercises are interspersed throughout each chapter and are designed to directly reinforce the immediately preceding material. This book is intended for use at both the undergraduate and beginning graduate level. Chapters and sections containing more advanced material are marked as such and may be skipped without loss of continuity.

About the author

Grant W. Petty is a Professor of Atmospheric Science in the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he teaches atmospheric physics and remote sensing to both undergraduate meteorology majors and graduate students. His research specialties include satellite microwave remote sensing of rainfall and other atmospheric variables, as well as radiative transfer modeling in three-dimensional clouds.


This book was selected as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2006 by CHOICE.



Resources for instructors and students

  • Ordering information
  • 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.
  • Book figures as PDF files (for overhead transparencies, electronic presentations, etc.): Download tar.gz file here (approx. 28 MB).   Please read the included file README.txt for conditions of use.
  • First three chapters in downloadable PDF format.  These chapters are provided online as a courtesy to customers who have ordered, but not yet received, their bound copy of the book.


  • First Edition
  • Second Edition, 1st Printing
  • Second Edition, 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.


Grant W. Petty
Sundog Publishing, Madison, Wisconsin
Publication Date:
March 2006
6″ x 9″