The book, Mathematics and Climate, published by SIAM last October, has been honored by the Atmospheric Science Librarians International (ASLI) as the best book of 2013 in the fields of meteorology, climatology, and atmospheric sciences.
Mathematics and Climate is a timely textbook with wide appeal. It is aimed at students and researchers in mathematics and statistics who are interested in current issues of climate science, as well as at climate scientists who wish to become familiar with qualitative and quantitative methods of mathematics and statistics. The authors emphasize conceptual models that capture important aspects of Earth’s climate system and present the mathematical and statistical techniques that can be applied to their analysis. Topics from climate science include the Earth’s energy balance, temperature distribution, ocean circulation patterns such as El Niño–Southern Oscillation, ice caps and glaciation periods, the carbon cycle, and the biological pump. Among the mathematical and statistical techniques presented in the text are dynamical systems and bifurcation theory, Fourier analysis, conservation laws, regression analysis, and extreme value theory.
The following features make Mathematics and Climate a valuable teaching resource:
1. Issues of current interest in climate science and sustainability are used to introduce the student to the methods of mathematics and statistics.
2. The mathematical sophistication increases as the book progresses; topics can thus be selected according to interest and level of knowledge.
3. Each chapter ends with a set of exercises that reinforce or enhance the material presented in the chapter and stimulate critical thinking and communication skills.
4. The book contains an extensive list of references to the literature, a glossary of terms for the nontechnical reader, and a detailed index.
Mathematics and Climate is intended for mathematicians, statisticians, data scientists, and geoscientists in academia, national laboratories, and public service organizations interested in current issues of climate and sustainability. It is written at the level of advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate students and assumes only basic familiarity with linear algebra, calculus, elementary differential equations, and statistics.
About the Authors
Hans Kaper is affiliated with Georgetown University and is Co-Director of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network (www.mathclimate.org). He spent most of his professional career at Argonne National Laboratory and served as Program Director for Applied Mathematics at the National Science Foundation. He is a Corresponding Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences and was named a SIAM Fellow in 2009. He is the (co-)author of four books and more than 100 articles in refereed journals. Dr. Kaper is Editor-in-Chief ofSIAM News, a member of the SIAM Committee on Science Policy, and Chair of the SIAM Activity Group on Dynamical Systems. He is interested in the mathematics of physical systems.
Hans Engler is Professor of Mathematics at Georgetown University, where he has been since 1984 and served as Department Chair in the 1990s. He has also served as Program Director for Applied Mathematics at the National Science Foundation. He was the Founding Director of Georgetown University’s MS program in mathematics and statistics. His research interests are in mathematics, statistics, and computing and their applications to physical and societal problems. He also does mathematical and statistical consulting work for government agencies and private companies.
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