GEOS 403
Geologic Controls of Earth's Climate Fall 2009
Division III
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Class Details

The effects of plate tectonics, uplift and erosion of mountain ranges, and volcanism extend beyond the solid Earth. These processes are fundamentally linked to ocean circulation, chemical weathering, the hydrological cycle and the carbon cycle and exert a major influence on the Earth’s climate state. We will explore how climate was affected by the closing of the Panama and Indonesian Seaways, the uplift of the Himalayas, and the opening of the Drake Passage. We will also examine the evolution of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation, the South Asian Monsoon and the onset of Antarctic and Northern Hemisphere glaciation. Each week, there will be a lecture introducing a topic followed by student-led discussions of articles from the scientific literature.
The Class: Format: lecture and seminar discussion, three hours per week
Limit: 12
Expected: 7
Class#: 1749
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on short, weekly papers, class discussions, and execution and oral presentation of an independent project
Prerequisites: at least one 300-level Geosciences class or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preferences: Geosciences majors
Distributions: Division III
Attributes: MAST Interdepartmental Electives

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