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Course Details

Fall 2014-2015
* GEO 361 / ENV 361 / CEE 360 (STN)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

Physics of Earth, the Habitable Planet

Samuel G. Philander

Earth's habitability depends on the continual recycling of various gases and even rocks, mainly between the atmosphere, oceans, "solid" earth and biosphere. The atmospheric and oceanic circulation's that effect this recycling involve phenomena such as the weather, hurricanes, Jet Streams, tsunamis, the Gulf's Stream, deserts, jungles, El Nino and La Nina. The class will discuss how global warming will affect these phenomena.

Sample reading list:
M.J. Wallace & P. Hobbs, Atmospheric Science: An Introductory Survey
Dennis L. Hartmann, Global Physical Climatology
Geoff Vallis, Atmospheric and Oceanic Fluid Dynamics
J. Marshall & R.A. Plumb, Atmosphere, Ocean and Climate Dynamics

Reading/Writing assignments:
Readings from texts and journals. Bi-weekly problem sets

Mid Term Exam - 20%
Take Home Final Exam - 40%
Papers - 40%

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
MAT 201, PHY 104 or equivalent.

Other information:
The main goal of the course is to demonstrate how interplay between measurements and a hierarchy of models (that starts with the highly idealized and gradually becomes more elaborate) can lead to an understanding of very complex phenomena such as weather and climate.

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
20284 L01 01:30:00 pm - 02:50:00 pm T Th   Guyot Hall   155   Enrolled:19 Limit:20