Applied Climatology: Principles and Practice

Applied Climatology: Principles and Practice

Applied Climatology: Principles and Practice

Applied Climatology: Principles and Practice


Applied Climatology focuses on the relationship between climate and a wide range of human activities and responses relating to health and comfort, building design, transport systems, agriculture and fisheries, tourism and social issues.


Applied climatology has indeed ‘come of age’ in the last decade or so, even though the current ‘climate consciousness’ emphasizes the vulnerability of society to climatic inconstancy. It is now obvious that human activities can inadvertently modify the global climatic environment through the combustion of fossil fuels, trace gas emissions, aerosol pollution and deforestation. At the same time, humans can also deliberately modify the mesoscale climate through a variety of schemes such as cloud seeding, frost protection, fog dispersal and hail suppression.

It is also apparent that climate clearly controls the development and functioning of the physical, biological and cultural environments, although these relationships have been overshadowed by the global warming euphoria of recent years. However, it must be remembered that these relationships are predicted to change dramatically over the next century or so, if global warming accelerates at the rate suggested by current climate models. This would initiate physical and biological responses which were last evident on Planet Earth many thousands of years ago.

Consequently, it is very timely and appropriate to re-examine these relationships and responses. There is an outstanding case for a modern, applied climatological text which examines current practices/methodological developments and explores these complex climate-environment relationships/responses in such an uncertain and changing situation. There are standard undergraduate texts available in this field but they are all more than 15 years old and are consequently very dated (Griffiths, 1966; Maunder, 1970; Oliver, 1973; Mather, 1974; Smith, 1975; Hobbs, 1981).

There is a clear demand for an up-to-date undergraduate textbook in applied climatology, especially if the material is contributed by authors who are specialized in the wide range of practices and principles to be considered. The standard texts referred to above were written by single authors without overall expertise in the material covered. This textbook incorporates chapters from 27 specialists (including established applied climate names), who are able to present up-to-date, authoritative material.

The 27 contributors represent 21 universities and indeed 12 of the authors are currently, or recently, affiliated to well-known research institutions. These include the UK Institute of Hydrology, the UK IACR, the UK Scott Polar Research Institute, the UK ESRC Global Environmental Change Programme, the US NCAR, the Canadian AES, the Canadian Forest Service and the Netherlands ISRIC. Furthermore, the authors represent a reasonable global coverage, with 12 from the UK, five from Australia, four from Canada, four from the USA and two from Europe.

The text has been written to represent a ‘broad-brush’ overview of the respective topics

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