GEOS 215 Fall 2014 Climate Changes (Q)

Cross Listed as ENVI215
In recent years, there has been a growing public and scientific interest in the Earth's climate and its variability. This interest reflects both concern over future climate changes resulting from anthropogenic increases in atmospheric greenhouse gases and growing recognition of the economic impact of "natural" climate variability (for example, El NiƱo events), especially in the developing world. Efforts to understand the Earth's climate system and predict future climate changes require both study of parameters controlling present day climate and detailed studies of climate changes in the past. In this course, we will review the processes that control the Earth's climate, like insolation, the greenhouse effect, ocean circulation, configuration of continents, and positive and negative feedbacks . At the same time, we will review the geological record of climate changes in the past, examining their causes. Laboratory exercises and problem sets will emphasize developing problem solving skills and using quantitative analyses to assess if a given explanation is possible and reasonable. These exercises will include developing and applying numerical models of the radiative balance of earth and the carbon cycle.
Class Format: lecture, three hours per week; one three-hour lab per week
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on lab exercises and problem sets (25%), three hour exams (50%), and a final project (25%) where students will collect, analyze, and interpret data
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Prerequisites: 100-level course in GEOS, CHEM, or PHYS or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preference: Geosciences majors
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Divisional Attributes: Division III,Quantitative and Formal Reasoning
Other Attributes: ENVI Natural World Electives,ENVS Group EB-B Electives,GEOS Environmental Geosciences Courses,MAST Interdepartmental Electives
Enrollment Limit: 20
Expected Enrollment: 20
Class Number: 1246
GEOS 215 - 01 (F) LEC Climate Changes (Q) Division 3: Science and MathematicsQuantitative and Formal Reasoning Mea S. Cook
MWF 10:00 AM-10:50 AM Clark Hall 204 1246
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