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Climate System Dynamics

Official description


The course will focus upon the dynamics of the climate system and therefore upon the coupled evolution of the atmosphere and oceans including also the inter-linkage of these primary system components to the cryosphere and to land surface processes.

Topics will include:

  1. Solar forcing and its intrinsic temporal variability as well as it apparent variability due to variations in the Earth's orbit around the Sun.
  2. Simple energy balance models of the variations of the amplitude and phase of the seasonal cycle due to the distribution of continents and oceans.
  3. The general circulations of the atmosphere and oceans as represented by modern coupled atmosphere -ocean general circulation models
  4. The monsoon circulations
  5. The El Nino Southern Oscillation phenomenon
  6. The North Atlantic Oscillation/ Arctic Oscillation and the polar "annular modes"
  7. Ice ages and paleoclimatology including the "snowball" Earth phenomenon of the deep geological past.

Credit will be earned primarily through the development of a term paper that will be presented both orally and in written form at the end of the term.

course title
specialized course
time and location
Time: TBA

Delivery Methods

In Person

A course is considered In Person if it requires attendance at a specific location and time for some or all course activities.*.

* Subject to adjustments imposed by public health requirements for physical distancing.

Online - Synchronous
A course is considered Online Synchronous if online attendance is expected at a specific time for some or all course activities, and attendance at a specific location is not expected for any activities or exams.
A course is considered Asynchronous if it has no requirement for attendance at a specific time or location for any activities or exams.