The Atmosphere, the Ocean, and Environmental Change

Instructor

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Overview

This course explores the physical processes that control Earth's atmosphere, ocean, and climate. Quantitative methods for constructing mass and energy budgets. Topics include clouds, rain, severe storms, regional climate, the ozone layer, air pollution, ocean currents and productivity, the seasons, El Niño, the history of Earth's climate, global warming, energy, and water resources.

nearly 30 hours of lectures.

35 lectures.

reading assignments, eight problem sets four exams with answers.

Course books

Professor

Ronald B. Smith is the Damon Wells Professor of Geology & Geophysics, and specializes in atmospheric dynamics and physics, regional climate, and remote sensing.  He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in aerospace engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Princeton University and his PhD in geophysics from The Johns Hopkins University. He is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society and received the Society’s Jule G. Charney Award in 2011.

 

Creative Commons License
The Atmosphere, the Ocean, and Environmental Change by Ronald B. Smith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://oyc.yale.edu/geology-and-geophysics.

Course content

  • Lecture 1 - Introduction to Atmospheres

  • Lecture 2 - Retaining an Atmosphere

  • Lecture 3 - The Perfect Gas Law

  • Lecture 4 - Vertical Structure of the Atmosphere; Residence Time

  • Lecture 5 - Earth Systems Analysis (Tank Experiment)

  • Lecture 6 - Greenhouse Effect, Habitability

  • Lecture 7 - Hydrostatic Balance

  • Lecture 8 - Horizontal Transport

  • Lecture 9 - Water in the Atmosphere I

  • Lecture 10 - Water in the Atmosphere II

  • Exam 1 - Exam 1

  • Lecture 11 - Clouds and Precipitation (Cloud Chamber Experiment)

  • Lecture 12 - Circulation of the Atmosphere (Exam I review)

  • Lecture 13 - Global Climate and the Coriolis Force

  • Lecture 14 - Coriolis Force and Storms

  • Lecture 15 - Convective Storms

  • Lecture 16 - Frontal Cyclones

  • Lecture 17 - Seasons and Climate

  • Lab - Quinnipiac River Field Trip

  • Lecture 18 - Seasons and Climate Classification

  • Exam 2 - Exam 2

  • Lecture 19 - Ocean Bathymetry and Water Properties

  • Lecture 20 - Ocean Water Density and Atmospheric Forcing

  • Lecture 21 - Ocean Currents

  • Lecture 22 - Ocean Currents and Productivity

  • Lecture 23 - El Niño

  • Lecture 24 - Ice in the Climate System

  • Lecture 25 - Ice and Climate Change

  • Lecture 26 - Isotope Evidence for Climate Change

  • Lecture 27 - Global Warming

  • Lecture 28 - Global Warming II

  • Exam 3 - Exam 3

  • Lecture 29 - Global Warming III

  • Lecture 30 - Climate Sensitivity and Human Population

  • Lecture 31 - The Two Ozone Problems

  • Lecture 32 - The Ozone Layer

  • Lecture 33 - Energy Resources, Renewable Energy

  • Lecture 34 - Renewable Energy

  • Lecture 35 - Review and Overview

  • Final Exam - Final Exam

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