Atmospheric evolution on inhabited and lifeless worlds

David C. Catling, James F. Kasting

Research output: Book/ReportBook

211 Citations (SciVal)


As the search for Earth-like exoplanets gathers pace, in order to understand them, we need comprehensive theories for how planetary atmospheres form and evolve. Written by two well-known planetary scientists, this text explains the physical and chemical principles of atmospheric evolution and planetary atmospheres, in the context of how atmospheric composition and climate determine a planet’s habitability. The authors survey our current understanding of the atmospheric evolution and climate on Earth, on other rocky planets within our Solar System, and on planets far beyond. Incorporating a rigorous mathematical treatment, they cover the concepts and equations governing a range of topics, including atmospheric chemistry, thermodynamics, radiative transfer, and atmospheric dynamics, and provide an integrated view of planetary atmospheres and their evolution. This interdisciplinary text is an invaluable onestop resource for graduate-level students and researchers working across the fields of atmospheric science, geochemistry, planetary science, astrobiology, and astronomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages592
ISBN (Electronic)9781139020558
ISBN (Print)9780521844123
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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