Climate Dynamics (Winter 2017)
This course examines Earth’s climate dynamics from the perspective of recent research that has focused on the energy budget. Topics include: the processes that control Earth’s climatology; radiative feedbacks and climate sensitivity; timescales of climate response to forcing; mechanisms of climate variability; oceanic and atmospheric heat transport from an energy budget perspective; the role of ocean circulation in climate change; the surface energy budget and hydrologic cycle changes with global warming; and sources of uncertainty in climate prediction. These topics are explored through a hierarchy of idealized physical models, as well as their application towards understanding the complex system dynamics seen in both nature and general circulation models (GCMs).
OCEAN 423: Ocean Circulation and Climate (Spring 2016, 2017)
A quantitative introduction to the structure and dynamics of large-scale ocean circulation systems and their interaction with climate. Topics include the meridional overturning circulation; the wind-driven gyres and western boundary currents; the Antarctic Circumpolar Current; the tropical ocean circulation; the abyssal ocean circulation; the transport of heat and salt; atmosphere-ocean coupling; and the ocean’s role in climate change and climate variability.
ATMS/OCEAN/ESS 587: Fundamentals of Climate Change (Autumn 2015, 2016)
An introduction to Earth’s climate system. Topics include the fundamental processes determining temperature, precipitation, and atmospheric and oceanic circulations; energy flow and heat transport mechanisms; climate sensitivity; natural climate variability on interannual to decadal time scales; global climate models; and predicting future climate.