Publication Abstracts

Del Genio 2013

Del Genio, A.D., 2013: Physical processes controlling Earth's climate. In Comparative Climatology of Terrestrial Planets. S.J. Mackwell, A.A. Simon-Miller, J.W. Harder, and M.A. Bullock, Eds., Space Science Series. University of Arizona Press, 3-18, doi:10.2458/azu_uapress_9780816530595-ch001.

As background for consideration of the climates of the other terrestrial planets in our solar system and the potential habitability of rocky exoplanets, we discuss the basic physics that controls the Earth's present climate, with particular emphasis on the energy and water cycles. We define several dimensionless parameters relevant to characterizing a planet's general circulation, climate, and hydrological cycle. We also consider issues associated with the use of past climate variations as indicators of future anthropogenically forced climate change, and recent advances in understanding projections of future climate that might have implications for Earth-like exoplanets.