Week Begins Homework Monday Tuesday Lab Wednesday Instructor
1 1/21 - Martin Luther King Jr. Day NO LAB TODAY. First Class Meeting - Introduction. All
2 1/28 Ch. 3; Ch 4, pp 66-68.

Solar Radiation and the Earth's Energy Balance.

Units and constants reference guide (pdf).

Lab Introduction

The Earth's Radiation Budget, Part I: Clear Sky

How to Write a Lab Report.

Understanding the Greenhouse Effect. Ting
3 2/4 Ch. 4, pp 56-57 & 74-80.

Atmospheric Convection.

The Earth's Radiation Budget, Part II: Cloud Forcing.

Moisture and Clouds.

Mitigation options for greenhouse gas induced global warming.

4 2/11 Ch. 1, pp 1-5; Ch. 3, pp 46-47; Ch. 8, 142-172; Ch. 16, 317-329. Greenhouse Gases and the Carbon Cycle. Modern Atmospheric CO2 Record. Carbon Management. Schlosser
5 2/18 Ch. 4, pp 57-66. Atmospheric Forces, Balances, and Weather Systems. Surface Energy and Water Balance. Weather Systems and Hurricanes. Ting
6 2/25 Ch. 4, pp 68-74.


General Circulation and Climate Zones. Climatological Structure of the Atmosphere.

Tropical Cyclones and Hurricanes.

Satellite Movie of Earth's General Circulation.

7 3/3 Ch. 5. Ocean
Ocean Circulation Simulation. The Gulf Stream (ppt) and Ocean Stratification. Schlosser
8 3/10


Ocean-Atmosphere Coupling. Review for Midterm Midterm Exam Schlosser
9 3/17 Spring Break  
10 3/24 Ch. 15, pp 308-312. ENSO; Ocean-Atmosphere Interactions. Agricultural Consequences of ENSO.

ENSO Impacts (powerpoint)

Climate Variations and Oscillations [besides ENSO]: NOA, NAM, SAM, PDO.

11 3/31 Ch. 8, pp 147-172 Ocean Chemistry and Cycling. Ocean Chemistry and Modes of Nutrient Distribution. Ocean Productivity and Nutrients (Pfirman). Schlosser
12 4/7 Ch. 6, 15, 16 (pp 326-329. Climate Changes: Present, Past, and Future. Globally-Averaged Temperature.

Climate Change: Uncertainties and Impacts

Mitigation options for greenhouse gas induced global warming.

13 4/14   Projections, Impacts, and Adaptations. Climate Impacts. The Arctic and Climate Change. Pfirman
14 4/21   Climate and Health. Climate and Health. Climate and Life. Pfirman
15 4/28 Ch. 12, 14 and 17. Climate Archives: The Record. Vostok Ice Core. Review of the Integrated Climate System Pfirman
16 5/5   Exam Review.     All
17 5/12 Ch. 14. Final Exam      

Grading Policy

Grades will be based on the following:

Course Objectives

This class provides the fundamentals needed for understanding the Earth's climate and its variability. The emphasis is placed on physical explanations of the laws that govern the climate system. The class moves from an exploration of the ocean and atmosphere separately to an integrated understanding of climate. The lab component serves to demonstrate concepts learned in lectures through the use of climatological datasets and hands-on experiments.

Required Text

Lee R. Kump, James F. Kasting, and Robert Crane, 2nd. ed. (2003) The Earth System: An Introduction to Earth Systems Science. Prentice-Hall: Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, 351 pp.

ISBN 0131420593.

Supplementary Readings

Atmospheric Sciences

Atmospheric Science: An Introductory Survey by John M. Wallace and Peter V. Hobbs. Academic Press 1977, ISBN 0127329501.

Essentials of Meteorology: An Invitation to the Atmosphere by C. Donald Ahrens. Wadsworth Publ. 1998, ISBN 0534537669.

The Weather Book: An Easy-to-Understand Guide to the USA's Weather by Jack Williams. Vintage Books 1992, ISBN 0679736697.

The Cartoon Guide to Statistics by Larry Gonick and Woollcott Smith. Harper Perrennial 1993, ISBN 0062731025.

Thermodynamics of Atmospheres & Oceans by Judith A. Curry and Peter J. Webster. Academic Press 1999, ISBN 0121995704.

Ocean Sciences

Ocean Circulation (Second Edition) prepared by the Open University Course Team. Butterworth-Heinemann in association with the Open University 2001, ISBN 0750652780.

Ocean Biogeochemical Dynamics by Jorge L. Sarmiento and Nicolas Gruber. Princeton Univ. Press 2006, ISBN 0691017077.


Paleoclimatology : Reconstructing Climates of the Quaternary by Raymond S. Bradley. Academic Press 1999. ISBN 012124010X.

Related Online Material - RealClimate is a commentary site on climate science by working climate scientists for the interested public and journalists. - The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group-1 Fourth Assessment Report. - National Snow and Ice Data Center Press Releases on the 2007 Sea Ice Minimum. - Online (PDF) version of a textbook on descriptive oceanography.
Regional Oceanography: an Introduction by Tomczak and Godfrey

Background on climate change scenarios shown in class

Updated November 4, 2011
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