Catalog Number: 1030
Number of Credits: 3
Warming of the climate system is now evident from observations of increases in surface air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of glaciers and ice caps, and shrinking Arctic sea ice extent. Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures is very likely due to the increase in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations associated with human activities (e.g., agriculture, industry, and land-use changes). Nonetheless, considerable debate surrounds the establishment of greenhouse gas emission limits, and informed government, corporate, and individual action to mitigate the extent and impact of warming has been limited. Improving our knowledge of the Earth's climate system and past climate changes is therefore a matter of urgency. This course will examine the atmospheric and oceanic interactions that determine the nature of the global climate system. Specifically, the course will explore the origin, evolution, and structure of the Earth's oceans and atmosphere, radiative and non-radiative components of the Earth's energy balance, global, synoptic, and mesoscale atmospheric circulation patterns, and surface and deep ocean currents. The course will also consider records of past climate, evidence for recent warming, climate change projections, and climate change policy.
Offered every fall term. Lecture 2 hours; recitation 1 hour. No prerequisites. [CES]