## ATS 420/520: Principles of Climate

### The Physical Science of Climate and Climate Change

This course will study the physics of climate past, present, and
future. Topics to be covered include radiative processes,
thermodynamics, and dynamics, as well as the paleoclimate record and
mechanisms driving this variability. Current modes of climate
variability (e.g., ENSO) will also be surveyed. Climate models,
ranging from 0 to 3 dimensional, will be examined and projections for
the future assessed, including results from the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report Working Group 1:"The
Physical Science Basis". See the complete syllabus (PDF) or (HTML) for more details.

This course is designed for science, math, and engineering graduate or upper-level undergraduate students interested in
understanding the Earth's climate. Students who take this course as
ATS 520 (as opposed to ATS 420) will be expected to answer additional
homework and exam questions.

Pre-requisites

- This class requires a basic knowledge (~ a year) of college
calculus and physics. For those who have not taken math or physics
for a while, I will review some basic calculus and physics concepts
and problem-solving skills in the first few recitations (see below). My philosophy is that a conceptual understanding helps with the math, and the math helps with the conceptual understanding. Any upper-level undergraduate student in math, science, or
engineering will have had the necessary background coursework. However, this isn't the place for people to be seeing derivatives and integrals for the first time. So students who have never had calculus should take ATS 210 or 320 instead.

The class will meet three times a week, with an optional recitation
meeting once a week on a date TBD on the first day of class. The
recitation is entirely optional; attendance does not count. For the
first few weeks, I will review basic physics and calculus concepts as
needed during the recitations. I will also go through some homework
solutions in detail and have additional problems for practice. We
will use the time for additional demonstrations, more explorations of
simple climate models and observational data sets, and discussions of
current climate papers. Assignments and lecture notes will be posted
to Blackboard. See the detailed class schedule.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about this course.

Last modified: Fri Dec 16 10:24:01 PST 2011