Principles of Environmental Physics

Principles of Environmental Physics, 4th Edition

Plants, Animals, and the Atmosphere

Principles of Environmental Physics, 4th Edition,John Monteith,Mike Unsworth,ISBN9780123869104


Academic Press



229 X 152

Principles of Environmental Physics provides a basis for understanding the complex physical interactions of plants and animals with their natural environment.

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Key Features

  • Presents a unique synthesis of micrometeorology and ecology in its widest sense
  • Deals quantitatively with the impact of weather on living systems but also with the interactions between organisms and the atmosphere that are a central feature of life on earth
  • Offers numerous worked examples and problems with solutions
  • Provides many examples of laboratory and field measurements and their interpretation
  • Includes an up-to-date bibliography and review of recent micrometeorological applications in forestry, ecology, hydrology, and agriculture


Principles of Environmental Physics: Plants, Animals, and the Atmosphere, 4e, provides a basis for understanding the complex physical interactions of plants and animals with their natural environment. It is the essential reference to provide environmental and ecological scientists and researchers with the physical principles, analytic tools, and data analysis methods they need to solve problems. This book describes the principles by which radiative energy reaches the earth’s surface and reviews the latest knowledge concerning the surface radiation budget. The processes of radiation, convection, conduction, evaporation, and carbon dioxide exchange are analyzed. Many applications of environmental physics principles are reviewed, including the roles of surface albedo and atmospheric aerosols in modifying microclimate and climate, remote sensing of vegetation properties, wind forces on trees and crops, dispersion of pathogens and aerosols, controls of evaporation from vegetation and soil (including implications of changing weather and climate), and interpretation of micrometeorological measurements of carbon dioxide and other trace gas fluxes.


Advanced undergraduate and graduate students in university departments of physics, atmospheric sciences, biological and environmental sciences, research scientists in agriculture, forestry, hydrology and ecology in academia, government research and industry, natural resource managers, environmental consultants and advisers in non-governmental organizations.

John Monteith

Affiliations and Expertise

Emeritus Professor of Environmental Physics, University of Nottingham, UK

Mike Unsworth

Affiliations and Expertise

Oregon State University, Corvallis, USA

Principles of Environmental Physics, 4th Edition

Preface to the Fourth Edition

Preface to the Third Edition



Roman Alphabet

Greek Alphabet

Non-Dimensional Groups


Chapter 1. The Scope of Environmental Physics

Chapter 2. Properties of Gases and Liquids

2.1 Gases and Water Vapor

2.2 Liquid

2.3 Stable Isotopes

2.4 Problems


Chapter 3. Transport of Heat, Mass, and Momentum

3.1 General Transfer Equation

3.2 Molecular Transfer Processes

3.3 Diffusion Coefficients

3.4 Diffusion of Particles (Brownian Motion)

3.5 Problems


Chapter 4. Transport of Radiant Energy

4.1 The Origin and Nature of Radiation

4.2 Spatial Relations

4.3 Problems


Chapter 5. Radiation Environment

5.1 Solar Radiation

5.2 Attenuation of Solar Radiation in the Atmosphere

5.3 Solar Radiation at the Ground

5.4 Terrestrial Radiation

5.5 Net Radiation

5.6 Problems


Chapter 6. Microclimatology of Radiation: (i) Radiative Properties of Natural Materials

6.1 Radiative Properties of Natural Materials

6.2 Problems


Chapter 7. Microclimatology of Radiation: (ii) Radiation Interception by Solid Structures

7.1 Geometric Principles

7.2 Problems


Chapter 8. Microclimatology of Radiation: (iii) Interception by Plant Canopies and Animal Coats

8.1 Interception of Radiation by Plant Canopies

8.2 Interception of Radiation by Animal Coats

8.3 Net Radiation

8.4 Problems


Chapter 9. Momentum Transfer

9.1 Boundary Layers

9.2 Momentum Transfer to Natural Surfaces

9.3 Lodging and Windthrow

9.4 Problems


Chapter 10. Heat Transfer

10.1 Convection

10.2 Measurements of Convection

10.3 Conduction

10.4 Insulation

10.5 Problems


Chapter 11. Mass Transfer: (i) Gases and Water Vapor

11.1 Non-Dimensional Groups

11.2 Measurements of Mass Transfer

11.3 Ventilation

11.4 Mass Transfer Through Pores

11.5 Mass Transfer through Coats and Clothing

11.6 Problems


Chapter 12. Mass Transfer: (ii) Particles

12.1 Steady Motion

12.2 Non-Steady Motion

12.3 Particle Deposition and Transport

12.4 Problems


Chapter 13. Steady-State Heat Balance: (i) Water Surfaces, Soil, and Vegetation

13.1 Heat Balance Equation

13.2 Heat Balance of Thermometers

13.3 Heat Balance of Surfaces

13.4 Developments From the Penman and Penman-Monteith Equations

13.5 Problems


Chapter 14. Steady-State Heat Balance: (ii) Animals

14.1 Heat Balance Components

14.2 The Thermo-Neutral Diagram

14.3 Specification of the Environment—The Effective Temperature

14.4 Case Studies

14.5 Problems


Chapter 15. Transient Heat Balance

15.1 Time Constant

15.2 General Cases

15.3 Heat Flow in Soil

15.4 Problems


Chapter 16. Micrometeorology: (i) Turbulent Transfer, Profiles, and Fluxes

16.1 Turbulent Transfer

16.2 Flux-Gradient Methods

16.3 Methods for Indirect Measurements of Flux Above Canopies

16.4 Relative Merits of Methods of Flux Measurement

16.5 Turbulent Transfer in Canopies

16.6 Density Corrections to Flux Measurements

16.7 Problems


Chapter 17. Micrometeorology: (ii) Interpretation of Flux Measurements

17.1 Resistance Analogs

17.2 Case Studies

17.3 Measurement and Modeling of Transport within Canopies

17.4 Problems




General Text Books


Solutions to Selected Problems


Quotes and reviews

"This compact overview of environmental physics…serves as an excellent introduction to the subject. Its pioneering approach to the application of physics to the study and analysis of biological processes is still unsurpassed...The range of subjects covered is wide…and the new edition reorganizes and updates core material and improves on presentation...Rigorous but accessible, this is a wonderful text, and contains an extensive bibliography and a list of references."--ProtoView.com, January 2014

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