CLIM2001/PHYS2801 – Fundamentals of Atmospheric Science

CLIM2001/PHYS2801 – Fundamentals of Atmospheric Science explores the basic physical principles and processes which govern our atmosphere and its climate: atmospheric composition, thermodynamics of dry and moist air, stability, cloud processes, atmospheric motion and weather systems, energy transport, radiation laws, solar and terrestrial radiation, ozone formation and loss, 1D and 3D climate models and predictions, climate change. laboratory exercises including chart analysis and computer simulations.

Term 1

6 Units of Credit

Current handbook entry Current timetable Course outline

Who should I contact?

Coordinator: Dr Martin Jucker

What does this course cover?

  1. Introduction: composition and properties of the atmosphere, gas laws, hydrostatic equation, air pollution, ozone formation and loss, Earth’s orbit.
  2. Radiation: radiation laws, Earth’s radiation budget, greenhouse gases and greenhouse effect.
  3. Thermodynamics and Moisture: first law of thermodynamics, adiabatic processes, thermodynamic charts, atmospheric humidity and its effects.
  4. Atmospheric Circulation: forces that drive the atmosphere, hypsometric equation, geostrophic wind, thermally driven circulations, the general circulation.
  5. Clouds: stability, condensation processes, cloud types and formation, cloud microphysics, precipitation, thunderstorms, weather radar.
  6. Climate: simple models of the climate, feedback processes, climate change mechanisms, climate prediction.

Where does this course fit into my degree?

This course is intended for stage 2 students pursuing a major in climate science, physics or applied maths (or other students with an interest in the atmosphere, meteorology, or climate).

NB: All information provided on this page is superseded by information provided by the course coordinator or lecturer(s).