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Physical Geography

This guide highlights the library and internet resources for Physical Geography.

Defining Climate and Weather

Climatology - the study of the origins and impacts of climates.

Mayhew, S. (2015). "Climatology." In A Dictionary of Geography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 7 Apr. 2017

While Weather is current, rather than average, atmospheric conditions; the object of study of synoptic meteorology. Weather variables include humidity, temperature, sunshine hours, cloud cover, visibility, and precipitation (fog, rain, snow, sleet, and frost).

"Weather."  A Dictionary of Geography. Susan Mayhew. Oxford University Press, 2004. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.  Dartmouth College.  15 December 2008

In the Library's Collections

Most of the works on Climatology, Weather and Meteorology are located in the Kresge Physical Sciences Library.

Call number ranges: QC 851 through QC 999

Suggested subject headings for searching in the online catalog:

Introductory reading(s)

These books and online reference sources provide useful summaries of climate data from many regions of the world, and can suggest further sources of data for your topic.

Atmospheric CO2, Ozone, & Other Datasets

Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC)

CDIAC is the Department of Energy's primary climate-change data and analysis center. Data holdings include records of the concentrations of carbon dioxide and other radiatively active gases in the atmosphere; the role of the terrestrial biosphere and the oceans in the biogeochemical cycles of greenhouse gases; emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere; long-term climate trends; the effects of elevated carbon dioxide on vegetation; and the vulnerability of coastal areas to rising sea level. View the online data compendium, TRENDS Online, or browse by topical subject areas (eg, Trace Gas Emissions; Vegetation Response to CO2 and Climate) to find your way to related data sets and reports.

EPA’s AirData

Provides annual summaries of air pollution data for the entire United States. Produces reports and maps of air pollution data based on criteria you specify. Data include:

  • Monitoring data (Carbon monoxide (CO), Nitrogen dioxide (NO 2), Ozone (O 3), Sulfur dioxide (SO 2), Particulate matter (PM 10 and PM 2.5), and Lead (Pb)
  • Emissions data (Carbon monoxide (CO), Sulfur dioxide (SO 2), Particulate matter (PM 10 and PM 2.5) and three precursors/promoters of criteria air pollutants: Volatile organic compounds (VOC), Nitrogen oxides (NOx) and Ammonia (NH 3)
  • Emissions data of Hazardous Air Pollutants

Read the About AirData section for details.

The European Environment Agency provides data on emissions of key air pollutants in the EU through the European Pollutant Emission Register (EPER).  The air pollutants reported are ammonia (NH3), sulphur oxides (SO2 and SO3 as SOx), nitrogen oxides (NO and NO2 as NOx), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC), carbon monoxide (CO), and particulate matter (PM10, particles defined as having aerodynamic diameter of 10 µm or less).

Ozone Data for the World: World Ozone and Ultraviolet Radiation Data Centre (WOUDC)

The WOUDC has published ozone data since 1964 in a publication entitled "Ozone Data for the World" (ODW).   Data summaries, ozone maps and time series graphs are available, as well as a searchable data archive.   Established by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) as one of five World Data Centres, and maintained by the Canadian government's environmental branch, Environment Canada.

PSMSL:  Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level

Established in 1933, the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) is the global databank for monthly and annual mean sea levels containing data from almost 2000 sites.   You can obtain Tide Gauge Data and lots uf useful information about sea levels and tides.

COADS Global Marine
Kresge Ref. CD-Rom  QC994 .N34

COADS Global Marine contains monthly statistical surface marine data covering the world ocean.  Data elements include sea surface temperature, air temperature, scalar wind, vector wind, sea level pressure, total cloudiness, specific humidity, and relative humidity for 10-degree box plots over the surface of the world's oceans (not all data elements may be present for every area).   Refer to the database help contents to find the numbered 10-degree box plot for your area of interest.